CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - Soldiers coordinating fundraising events for the Combined Federal Campaign in Warrior Country want to follow in the footsteps of American celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and "kick it up a notch" this year.

Franciela Itule, U.S. Army Pacific Command CFC coordinator, came to the USAG Casey movie theater Sept. 13 to provide training to 45 unit coordinators and key people who will assist with the 2010 campaign. The training covered a myriad of topics related to the annual charitable fundraising campaign that will run through Dec. 15.

Warrior Country contributors gave $256,897 or an average donation of $97.24 in 2009, according to Natasha Richardson, the Warrior Country CFC community area project officer. Richardson said the community goal is $252,000.

Itule has been visiting installations in the Pacific region to give the coordinators ideas for their fund- raising events and provide them with the necessary training they need to conduct successful unit-level campaigns. Her enthusiasm for the campaign is rubbing off on coordinators.

"The training provided us with a lot of information on what we need to do to reach our goals of giving back," said Spc. Sheri Buchanon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud. "I know I'm going to truly give the fundraiser my best effort."

The Warrior Country kickoff event will be held at noon, Monday in the Post Exchange's Food Court on Casey Garrison. It will include a ribbon- and cake-cutting, and free giveaways.

The CFC was started by President John F. Kennedy when he signed Executive Order 10927 in 1961. It consolidated fundraising efforts throughout the year into one campaign for federal employees. Federal employees can donate to as many of the more than 2,400 approved charitable organizations as they desire.

"Today we're the most successful fundraising campaign in the world," Itule told the coordinators.
She said the campaign supports disaster relief, medical research, veterans' charities and many more charitable endeavors, and that it has the potential to touch contributors on a personal level.
"I wish everyone a very successful campaign," Itule said as the end of the training.

"The PACOM office is here to help facilitate your campaign, because this is garrison's campaign, so whatever we can do to help you be successful is what we're here to do and what we need to do."

With coordinators trained and the campaign underway, Richardson had one simple message for potential contributors.

"A dollar goes a long way," she said.

See your unit representatives or key people, many of whom work in the adjutant's office or the orderly room, to make a donation.