WEST BETHESDA, Md. —
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division kicked off its national capital area 2016 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Oct. 26 with a tailgate party in West Bethesda, Maryland.
The Carderock CFC tailgate party was hosted by the Women's Employee Resource Group (ERG) and the event raised close to $1,000 in donations.
Donations were accepted throughout the event which included employees, some wearing their favorite sports team's jersey, bringing food to share; an ice-cream social hosted by the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Community of Interest (COI); a car show hosted by the Veterans ERG; and a pie-in-the-face contest pitting five command senior staff members against each other, with Carderock's Head of the Contracts Department, Tariq Al-Agba, easily receiving the most "votes" (funds raised) to earn the pie in his face. Normally, the second-place winner, which was Carderock Technical Director Dr. Tim Arcano, gets to throw the pie at the first-place winner. Arcano invited Heather Valiga, one of Al-Agba's branch heads, to throw the pie, which she seemingly did with joy.
Capt. Mark Vandroff, Carderock's commanding officer, started the event by encouraging Anna Eshbaugh and Despi Mahaney, co-coordinators for the 2016 Carderock CFC and division and branch keyworkers, reminding them know how important their role is each year for the CFC.
"Without you, it would be impossible to reach out to every employee here and let them know about the CFC," Vandroff said, thanking them for their support.
For many of the keyworkers, this is their first time organizing the CFC within their branch; and for some, they are also new to Carderock.
"I'm excited to do this because it's a great way for me to meet new people," said Marianne Moag-Philie, an administrative coordinator and the CFC keyworker for the Environmental and Energy Division (Code 63).
Moag-Philie is a first-time federal employee and new to the command. She said in the past, she has given directly to charities that focus on education and military.
Meladee Stone, a business office manager for the Signatures Measurement Technologies and Systems Division, is also new to Carderock, having just come from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division, where she had also been a CFC keyworker.
"I get to see how other commands do it," Stone said.
The CFC cause that means something to her is any hospice-related charity.
"They are angels," added Stone. "When you have to use them, they're amazing."
As the federal government's primary charity campaign program, CFC has more than 18,000 participating charities worldwide, including local charities encompassing about 200 campaign areas. The CFC is also the only charity campaign besides the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society that is authorized to campaign for funds on Navy installations. Employees interested in donating to a charity or charities through CFC should use the Carderock ID, 404818.
"The CFC provides wonderful support for people working with the federal government to give; whether within the community they live in, or a national or international charity, it lets them pick a charity or cause they are passionate about," Vandroff said. "The CFC book is filled with great charities, and this allows people to donate safely, securely, and conveniently."
The sunny, fall day provided a perfect setting for the tailgate party. Jerseys ranged from professional hockey, baseball and football teams, to high-school and college alma maters.
There were 27 cars registered in the car show, one motorcycle, and two bicycles. The oldest car was a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air owned by Thomas Martino, a safety engineer from the Safety Branch. One of the newest cars was a 2016 Tesla Model S 75D, owned by contractor Dustin Lanham, who works for Signatures Measurement Technologies and Systems Division. Lanham has owned his Tesla for only two weeks. Cars with souped-up engines were displayed with hoods up. The Tesla also had its hood and trunk up -- showcasing nothing but plenty of room for luggage, since the all-electric car has its batteries and electric motor encased in the front- and rear-axle areas.
"The car show raised $102.48 for CFC," Kevin Garcia said. "That's $102.48 more than it raised last year."
Garcia, Carderock's explosives safety officer and coordinator for the car show, said the two top cars in the event were the 1957 Chevy Bel Air and the 2016 Smart Car, owned by Charlie Richardson, a supply technician with the Property Management Division.
Many employees stayed around to see Al-Agba take a pie to the face, and Vandroff took the opportunity to thank everyone for participating in the CFC kickoff tailgate party and again thanked the keyworkers for their important roles. He also reminded employees as the holiday season approaches to stay safe and be smart while they celebrate during the holidays.