USS CARL VINSON, At Sea (NNS) -- When the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) concluded its 99th annual Navywide fund drive April 30 and donations were tallied, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 Sailors and Marines had raised more than $88,000.
For fund drive chairmen, Chief Hospital Corpsman (SW/AW) Steve Pavlik and Chief Religious Program Specialist (AW/FMF) Craig Tilley, the objective of this year's drive wasn't motivated by a dollar amount, but by their determination to educate the entire crew about NMCRS.
"The goal for this year's fund drive was to make contact with 100 percent of the crew," said Tilley. "We achieved that goal and in the process, exceeded last year's donation by almost $40,000. The crew really stepped up to the plate."
Each department had a representative in charge of collecting donations and ensuring personnel understand the mission of NMCRS. With a a crew of nearly 5,000 Sailors and Marines, the representatives were key players in the success of the fund drive.
"The departmental reps did a fantastic job making sure everything went smoothly," said Pavlik. "The fund drive went much better than anticipated, and we've got (them) to thank."
The NMCRS is a nonprofit charitable organization that supports the active and retired communities of the naval service in everything from budgeting to unforeseen emergencies, and that's the message Pavlik, Tilley and the departmental representatives got across to the crew.
"When the drive kicked off, we wanted to make sure the crew (was) educated on the benefits of the society, and make sure everyone had the opportunity to make a donation," said Pavlik. "Not only was the goal met, but in the process, a lot of money was raised for a good cause."
President Theodore Roosevelt authorized the founding of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society in 1904, when the proceeds from the 1903 Army-Navy football game were donated to the widows of Sailors and Soldiers.
Last year, the society helped more than 50,000 people with funds totaling more than $40 million. Aboard Carl Vinson, the society has made an impact by helping more than 50 Sailors and Marines with emergency travel expenses since the ship left homeport in January.
"Over and over again, (NMCRS) helps Sailors in need," said Pavlik. "It's nice to be able to give something back."
The Carl Vinson Strike Group is currently deployed in the western Pacific Ocean as part of America's standing commitment to maintain peace and stability in cooperation with allies and friends in the region.
For related news, visit the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70.