Our annual fund-raising campaign on behalf of Children's Hospital is beginning to pick up the tempo. Walter Gutmann, of Northwest Washington, reflects a good part of the reason.

"This year, as you appear to realize, many of us, especially retirees like me on fixed incomes, will have to cut down on the list of worthy causes to which they contribute," Walter writes.

"I hope that most will think twice before omitting Children's Hospital."

Walter enclosed a $50 check with his letter, which proved better than words that he has heeded his own advice. Just as welcome have been checks from other retirees. It's a comfort to see that they apparently share Walter's view of The Hospital With The Built-In Deficit.

And why not? Letters from retirees are often spiced with memories of the job that Children's has done for this community through the years.

For example, a woman in Brentwood sent in a $10 check last week ("All I can afford," she wrote). She also recounted the story of her son, who took sick as a 6-month-old in 1930.

"I was a 19-year-old first-time mother," the Brentwood woman wrote. "I was scared out of my mind. But the doctors at Children's saved my baby from a serious case of meningitis. Today, he is a bank president in California."

Just the sort of outcome we always hope for, and just the sort of outcome your donations help provide. Remember that Children's Hospital works miracles for all sorts of kids from all walks of life, every day. My kind of place. Yours, too?

High rollers now have another prize at which to shoot during our 1990-'91 Children's campaign: Four Redskins tickets.

National Box Office Inc., a Beltsville ticket agency, has announced that it will provide two pairs of tickets to a home Redskin game or games during the 1991 season. The winner will choose which game or games.

NBO has also announced that, for every ticket purchased through the company between now and Jan. 17, 1991, $5 will be donated to our hospital campaign. NBO's phone number is 301-595-0970.

How do you win this luscious prize, or any of the other four we've already announced? By making a contribution to our campaign that tops the high-roller gifts we've already received. I won't get specific for fear of limiting your generosity. But if you kick in $1,500 or more, you'll be in the running.

Many thanks to NBO for hopping aboard the Children's express. As for you high-rollers who haven't yet contributed, the express still has seats available for you, too.


Make a check or money order payable to Children's Hospital and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.


Thanks to the following group contributors to our campaign:

Members, Northern Virginia Dental Society ($4,750 from this always-loyal gang).

American Newspaper Publishers Association, Reston ($915).

Hoffman, Wasson & Gitler, Arlington ($5.040 collected at the 20th Annual Office Party, this law firm's best bottom line ever. Thanks and congratulations to chief cook and bottlewasher Marty Hoffman).

E-Systems, Inc., Melpar Division, Falls Church (a stupendous $11,773.10, this group's 16th consecutive hefty contribution).

Attorneys and staff, O'Connor & Hannan ($1,870).

Washington Business School, Vienna ($3,688.16 from the annual type-a-thon. Special handshakes to Kristie Dixon, whose 93 words-per-minute were the fastest in the house; Sandra King, whose $335 was the largest sum collected by one student, and Vandy Phorn, whose 22 sponsors were more than anyone else signed up).

Lara Shainis' third grade class, Haycock Elementary School, Fairfax County ($321.75 in memory of Sharon Mullan).

Faculty and staff, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland ($240).

Office staff, Fairview Elementary School, Fairfax Station ($120 in lieu of a gift exchange).

Office of the Comptroller, U.S. Information Agency ($160 from the Christmas party fund).

Division of Data Base Systems, Social Security Administration, Baltimore ($95 in lieu of exchanging holiday cards).

Employees, Roberts & Blueford, Burtonsville ($50 by recycling aluminum cans).

Air National Guard, NCO Academy Graduates Association, Chapter 88, Chesapeake Chapter, National Guard Bureau, Andrews Air Force Base ($60).

HFSI, McLean (a delightful $6,400, especially so since it's four times as large as this group's donation of a year ago. Backslaps to Dave Amos, Sue Ames, Angela Critchfield, Debbie Giovanis, Mary Ham, Bob Leonard and Susan Rush).

Elizabeth Wiseman's Latin classes, Brentsville District High School, Nokesville, Va. ($25).

Amdahl Corporation, Northwest Washington ($68).

Foreign Language Department, Georgetown Day High School ($50).

The children of Gaywood Elementary School, Seabrook ($419.52 instead of exchanging gifts in the classroom).

Dallas Avenue Carolers, Silver Spring ($10).

Argals Bowling League ($143).

Nuclear staff, Bechtel Corporation, Gaithersburg ($205).

Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni Chapter 113 ($25).

Tuesday Oak View Bridge Club ($35).

Citizens Bank of Maryland X-Cheque Club ($807.65 by selling sweatshirts).

Washington Business Group on Health ($164).

Members, Trajectory and Tracking Analysis Section (Code 554.2), Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt ($210).

The Institute of Applied Agriculture, University of Maryland ($35).

Center for Naval Analyses, Arlington ($172.50).