FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 13, 2012) -- Despite tough economic times throughout the country, the Heart of Alabama Combined Federal Campaign set an aggressive goal for its 2012 fundraising campaign that kicks off Sept. 17 on Fort Rucker.

The CFC kickoff and charity agency fair takes place Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. at The Landing with the goal to raise $1,150,000 by the end of the campaign on Nov. 9, according to Beverly Arnold, Wiregrass Area Associate of the CFC.

The kickoff will feature Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, as speaker, along with Melinda McClendon, a civilian from Dothan who "has been instrumental in fundraising efforts for charities," said Arnold.

All military members and federal employees are invited to the kickoff event to learn more about CFC, participating charities and show support for the fundraising campaign, Arnold said. The event starts off informally with the agency fair and reception, where attendees can enjoy beverages and meet with an estimated 25 charity agencies that will set up booths. At about 9:45 a.m., the speakers will begin the more formal part of the program.

Last year's CFC raised $1,345,889 -- exceeding the 2011 goal of $1,125,000. Arnold expects similar results this year.

"Last year was a record year for us," she said. "When times are tough economically, the need is even greater. Food banks run low on food, agencies run out of funds, government grants are reduced, but military and federal employees are great at responding to that need through the CFC.

"I've spoken to our project officers, and they are a motivated group. I'm confident that we'll meet the goal," Arnold added.

The Heart of Alabama CFC is the biggest in the state, according to Arnold, and it encompasses 30 counties stretching from Tuscaloosa to Tuskegee down into the Wiregrass, and includes all federal employees in those areas.

"The CFC is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the Federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. It continues to be the largest and most successful workplace fundraising model in the world," according to the Heart of Alabama CFC website. "With a tradition of commitment to the community through the selfless efforts of Federal employees, the CFC has its roots in the many charitable campaigns of the early 1960s. Seeing a need to bring the diversity of fundraising efforts under one umbrella, the CFC was created -- one campaign, once a year."

Each unit and organization on post has a project officer to serve as the point of contact for the CFC. People with questions or who would like to give to a charity should contact their POC. They can also call Arnold at 255-9261.

Additionally, people can give directly online by going to