YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Yokota community patted itself of the back Monday for “leading the Pacific” during the 2004 Combined Federal Campaign.

Military and civilian leaders gathered in the Enlisted Club ballroom Monday afternoon to recognize the personnel and units that helped Yokota raise more than $375,000 with close to 60 percent participation — almost double the normal 30 percent installation average.

The 2004 program saw a more than $50,000 increase in donations and a 30 percent jump in the participation rate from 2003, even with 400 fewer people working at Yokota this year, according to a base fact sheet.

Melissa Kidder, director of CFC-Overseas, who traveled from Washington, D.C., for the ceremony, said Yokota’s success amazed her.

“I’ve been doing this for eight years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many unit awards,” Kidder told the audience.

She said even though servicemembers work in a profession in which they could have to put their lives on the line, they still open their wallets for the annual CFC drive.

First Lt. Kenneth Raszinski, who volunteered to spearhead Yokota’s efforts as the community area project officer, received a plaque from Kidder and an Air Force Achievement Medal from 374th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Mark Schissler.

Kidder also presented Capt. Paul Talley, assistant project officer, with a plaque.

Schissler said he never talked to Raszinski about a monetary goal, focusing instead on participation.

Raszinski said he volunteered “just to help out … to be involved in the community.” He said the key to Yokota’s success was getting the word out.

“People just really saw the light,” he said of the 2004 numbers.

Kidder said one of best things about her job is meeting people who’ve been touched by the CFC. She said she visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington a few weeks ago and met an inspiring young sergeant who had lost both his legs in Iraq.

When she mentioned her upcoming trip to the Pacific, the sergeant said to “thank them for us.”

“On behalf of people you may never meet,” she said, “thank you.”

2004 Base donations

Number of potential contributors: 3,739

Number of donors: 2,166

Total contributions: $375,492

Participation: 57.93 percent

Average gift: $173.36

Unit Awards

Bronze Award, $60 average donation or at least 40 percent participation: 7 awards

Silver Award, $90 average donation or at least 50 percent participation: 9 awards

Gold Award, $120 average donation or at least 60 percent participation rate: 16 awards

Platinum Award, $200 average donation or at least 85 percent participation: 7 awards


459th Airlift Squadron, $527 average donation

Army and Air Force Exchange Service, 100 percent participation

Source: 374th Public Affairs Office

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