The NIEHS community gathered Sept. 26 to ring in a new year of fundraising for the annual Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). This year’s initiative features the slogan “Share Some Love” and seeks to raise more than $105,000 in charitable pledges from NIEHS personnel by early next January.
“As federal employees, we’re extremely privileged to have this chance to give back to those who are less fortunate,” said NIEHS Acting Director Rick Woychik, Ph.D., during his opening remarks. “Even at just a few dollars per month, you’d be amazed how far that money can go toward helping others in need.”
CFC’s mission is to support federal workers’ philanthropy. Employees can pledge to numerous causes through a database of more than 24,000 affiliated charities.
“The thing I love most about CFC is the freedom it allows us as individuals to donate our money or time to the causes that speak to us on a personal level,” said NIEHS Biologist Eli Ney, a co-chair of this year’s drive. “That’s a wonderfully empowering feeling.”
In keeping with its status as CFC 2019’s first event, this year’s launch party adopted a football-style kickoff theme with its decor and refreshments. Chief among these was the menu, which featured an old-fashioned tailgate dip competition.
Attendees sampled several different party dips courtesy of their NIEHS colleagues. After tasting each dip, individuals were given a single bean to place into the cup representing their favorite one. The dip with the most beans at the end of the afternoon won the contest.
“Everyone who prepared a dish for today’s competition deserves a ton of credit,” said medical technologist Debra King, another of the drive’s co-chairs. “Judging by the feedback we got from our participants, there wasn’t a bad dip on the table.”
Among the entries earning high marks were the “Peanut Butter Football Dip” and the “Veggie Kickoff Dip.” But one dip reigned supreme — the “Chicken Cheese Taco Dip” from NIEHS Veterinarian Terry Blankenship-Paris, D.V.M.
“I guess it’s true what they say,” Ney said. “Nothing says gameday like chicken and chips smothered in cheese!”
(Ian Thomas is a public affairs specialist with the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and a regular contributor to the Environmental Factor.)