PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- The annual charity season began with the Combined Federal Campaign kick-off ceremony here Oct. 22.

During the event, Presidio Garrison Commander Col. Joel J. Clark spoke briefly to the audience about how important it is to get community members to review the campaign book so they will see all the worthy charities that need assistance and in doing so will likely find that some community members will recognize.

The Combined Federal Campaign, which is the only campaign authorized in the federal work place, celebrates "50 Years of Caring" this year and covers about 1,500 charities in the United States.

CFC is also the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, with more than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally to help to raise millions of dollars each year. Pledges made by federal civilian, postal and military donors during the campaign season support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

The kick-off had three speakers from the local community: Clare Mounteer from Monterey Rape Crisis Center; Julie DeMaria from Operation Care and Comfort; and Jill Allen from Dorothy's Place.

According to a CFC release, prior to the 1950s, on-the-job fund raising in the federal workplace was an "uncontrolled free-for-all." Now, charity solicitations in federal work places follow strict guidance and are under the control of the annual event.

And because the CFC is the only authorized charity payroll deduction, people may choose to spread out their donations throughout the year if they don't want to or cannot pay by check immediately.

The CFC season runs through Dec 12 here.