Charity drive head wins award and D.C. trip

Lawton_Ft. Sill Special Programs Coordinator Cheryl Foster was honored as a Hero at a ceremony in Washington D.C.  Foster and her organization set four consecutive records in charity earnings for the Combined Federal Campaign Charity Drive.  Last year, Foster helped the drive earn over $270 million nationwide.  And for her hard work, she earned a trip to the White House to receive her award.

What makes this charity campaign different is that it's just for federal employees.  But, the citizen gets to decide exactly where their donations go.  "Last year's goal was $250,000 and we actually exceeded the goal by $65,000," Foster said, "So we were especially pleased."

"It's because it's a part of my heart, it really is," she said of the reason she has been working with this charity drive for sixteen years.  That dedication has paid off.  Foster was selected as one of the eleven honorary heroes for the CFC drive this year.  Out of more than 300 people to choose from, Cheryl Foster earned the trip to D.C.

"What she does for the campaign is just breathtaking - each year I'm just impressed more," Brenda Spencer Ragland, Director of the Fort Sill MWR said.  She nominated Foster for the award.  "I'm really proud that she brought this award home for herself,"  Ragland said.  "But also for the program because it is a program that Cheryl works tirelessly at."

Ragland said it's also what the community works at.  Federal employees can have the funds taken directly out of their paycheck and have it sent to the Red Cross, United Way, ASYMCA, Salvation Army or whatever charitable organization the community member would like.  She said there are also a number of local agencies included in the campaign, so it's quite important to the local area.

There are more than 60 local agencies that donors could have their contributions sent to.  Fosters said plans for next year are already made and it's going to be even bigger and better.

The 2007 Combined Federal Campaign begins Sept. 28 at the Fort Sill Patriots Club.  Lawton's own Miss America, Lauren Nelson will be the guest speaker.