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Two weeks ago, Combined Federal Campaign — Overseas staffers were optimistic that the European region would hit $5 million in donations for the year.

As of noon last Friday, U.S. European Command has raised $5.23 million, and final numbers will be slightly higher, though down from the $5.6 million raised in 2007.

“Numbers have increased marginally since (then),” Justin Lana, CFC-O executive officer, said in a telephone itnerview Tuesday.

Though Europe’s campaign ended Dec. 3, donations made in the final days can take weeks to appear, and monies are still trickling in.

“[Numbers] were much better than we expected,” Lana said. “In the final two weeks everyone came together.”

Lana specifically cited U.S. Army Europe’s Installation Management Command as well as U.S. Naval Forces Europe for the final push. By service component, Europe-based Army entities have donated $2.38 million in 2008, Air Force $1.97 million and Navy $596,000.

Solid final numbers will be available around April after reports have been audited, Lana said.

A visit to the CFC-O Web site, www.cfcoverseas.org, shows the U.S. military’s African, European, Central and Pacific commands raising more than $15.1 million for the more than 2,000 CFC charities this year.

Central Command’s campaign ends Monday, and Pacific’s was extended by two weeks.

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