JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Service members ran a race, played golf blindfolded and choked down the "nastiest" food the chow hall had to offer Dec. 5 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to raise money for the Combined Federal Campaign - Overseas.
Thirteen four-member teams participated in the CFC Amazing Race, to compete to have a $300 check donated to the CFC in their name. The CFC supports charitable organizations through philanthropy by federal employees.

Senior Master Sgt. Bryan Shipman, a superintendant of protocol with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing and a Norfolk, Va., native, served as the Air Force CFC representative.
"We noticed there were no combined events with the Army or anyone else," he said. "We teamed with the 13th (Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)) and the 194th Engineer Brigade and we came together with this alternate Amazing Race event."

In the past few weeks, the representatives worked together to plan activities and events for teams to raise awareness and money for the CFC, said Shipman.
The planners coordinated the events, set up the stations and made sure there was continuity with the food, event times and reserved locations, he said.
Master Sgt. Kimberly D. Bergman, a 13th ESC career counselor and a Chicago native, said no other CFC-O event has had all the major commands from their base organized together.
Instead of commanders doing their own events for CFC-O, they came together as a whole - Army and Air Force, said Bergman.
"It was an awesome time," she said. "Everyone brought their own strengths ... which (were) reflected in the different challenges that we had."

The 13th ESC created a crossword puzzle event, testing competitors' knowledge of Army and Air Force history, said Bergman. The 194th Engineers and the JBB Fire Department hosted department specific challenges, she said.
"It was a lot of work on our part but we enjoyed it and it seems all the participants enjoyed it," she said.
Spc. Martha A. Bolt, a paralegal specialist with the 13th ESC and a Sussex, N.J., native, said the event was fun and helped the service members get a good workout.
Bolt, who was on the Urban Logistickers team, said the hardest part of the event was the eating competition at the Mirage dining facility. She drew a number and had to eat banana pudding with raisins. Other numbered items included sardines, refried beans and tuna.
Her teammate, Maj. Erik A. Enyart, a brigade aviation officer with the 13th ESC and a Radcliff, Ky., native, said blind golfing and chow-hall eating were the hardest parts of the event.

Spc. Kimberly N. Dover, a medic with the 248th Area Support Medical Company out of Marietta, Ga., with the 61st Multifunctional Medical Brigade and a Cartersville, Ga., native, won third place with the Sickcall Rangers and said the food challenge was not her favorite part either.
"I'm just a really picky eater ... and it was gross," she said. "None of it was really difficult; that was just the nastiest part."
Dover said pushing and pulling water hoses at the fire department was the highlight of the competition.
The event mirrored a scavenger hunt combined with a 5 km race, said Dover. The activities were set up at locations throughout JBB and teams had to accomplish each task before they could head to the final destination, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center east, she said.
"It was fun and it got everybody out here on their Saturday morning, instead of sitting in their (bedroom) doing nothing," she said.

In the end, service members came together and had a blast to support a great cause, which Bergman said was all she could ask for.
"I think it was great," she said. "I think CFC is very important. I'm looking forward to perhaps maybe doing another one before we get out of here."