GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society kicked off its 2012 Active Duty Fund Drive with a ceremony March 1.
Director Carol Ward welcomed the attendees and introduced Chief Quartermaster(SW) John Weidner, NMCS drive coordinator. Capt. Randy Lynch, commanding officer, Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL), addressed those in attendance.
"We have an opportunity here to recognize the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. It is something we want our Sailors to know about," He also noted that the money donated goes directly back to the Sailors.
"We have a great opportunity here to make a difference," he added. "Our goal in the drive is 100 percent contact."
Lynch said that close to 100,000 Sailors, Marines and their family members faced financial hardship in 2011. In response, the society disbursed close to $50 million in interest-free loans and grants.
"That equates to support to nearly one in every five active duty Sailors and Marines serving our nation," he said. "In 2011 about one-third of active duty sailors and Marines responded to the call for contributions." Praising the work of NMCRS personnel, Ward said, "The Navy-Marine Corps Society Great Lakes helped over 1,600 clients in 2011, a feat just not possible without the support of the active duty fund drive."
Ward expressed appreciation to all those who helped their fellow Sailors and Marines.
"The theme of the drive for 2012 is 'It Takes all Hands,' she added. "And in this tough economy truer words could not be said."
During the ceremony the captain signed his donation pledge and Cmdr. Robert Sullivan, NSGL executive officer, pledged online, via www.nmmcrs.org.
The drive will officially end April 30.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Commander, Navy Region Midwest/Naval Station Great Lakes, visit www.navy.mil/local/midwest/.