ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- A Thursday taco lunch and Friday pancake breakfast were among several Island-wide events hosted in support of the Combined Federal Campaign, here Oct. 27 and 28.

The taco lunch and pancake breakfast were hosted at Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center, and First U.S. Army, respectively. Pancakes were served with orange juice, and the taco lunch was served with cupcakes and root beer floats for dessert.

Both events attracted dozens of RIA Soldiers and civilians who donated to various organizations for numerous personal reasons.

Nancy Andreesen, contract specialist, Army Contracting Command, shared a painful story of losing her 11-year-old daughter during treatment of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma - a rare pediatric cancer that started in her foot.

"I donate to the Sarcoma Foundation of America because research is needed to help children affected by sarcoma. Better treatment and cure is essential because I personally do not wish for this cancer to take the life of another precious child.

"Supporting Sarcoma Foundation of America is my way of fighting back. It helps me heal because it allows me to help other affected children," said Andreesen.

Ellen Debonis, a senior associate for office administration at the Sarcoma Foundation of America explained: "We fund research for identification and better treatment of sarcoma cancer."

Not all donors have such painful experiences influencing their participation in the campaign.

Maj. Eric James, executive officer, Division West, First U.S. Army attended the pancake breakfast and said: "I can't help but think about my son Isaac every time I have pancakes.

"We pack light when I take him camping, and we use bacon grease to cook our pancakes in so we don't have to bring butter.

"Isaac calls them 'bacon cakes' and even made a song about them which goes: '"Makin' pancakes, makin' bacon pancakes, bacon pancakes, makin' bacon pancakes'," James said.

CFC spans 151 regions benefitting local, domestic and international recipients of more than 24,000 different charities.

As of Oct. 26, RIA has raised $40,324, or, 10% of its $400,000 end goal.