MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, hosted an award ceremony inside of Talbots for unit representatives of the Active Duty Fund Drive, May 29, 2015.
Each unit designates a representative who is in charge of making sure the service members with the unit know what the ADFD is, what the funds are used for and collecting donations.
“Ninety-nine percent of all the money donated to the ADFD goes right back into the pockets of Marines and sailors,” said Deanna O’neal, director of the NMCRS Iwakuni. “We are here for emergency financial assistance, everything from emergencies back at home, to local emergencies like a car breaking down.”
The ADFD runs annually, March through April, by request of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Chief of Naval Operations and in the last four years the total amount of money donated increased every year.
“Each unit works really hard, so we wanted to make sure they got the recognition they deserved so we had certificates of appreciation for each representative as well as for the commands who had the most improved or the highest earning per capita,” said O’neal. “We wanted to make sure they know that the society sees what they’re doing and recognizes them for their efforts.”
La’Tisha Rebekah J’Nae Choice, a sales associate at the Marine Corps Exchange and one of the many to receive an award during the ceremony, received her award for selling the third highest amount of NMCRS coupons for the MCX.
“I’m very grateful to have received this award,” said Choice. “I worked hard to sell as many as I did. As a whole, the MCX doubled its donations compared to last year so I would say we were successful.”
The ADFD received its donations from every unit aboard station through fund raisers such as sports events, barbeques or just by getting everyone in the unit together and explaining the importance of donating.
According to O’neal, the understanding of what the ADFD is and what it’s used for is the cause in the increase of total donations because it’s hard for people to donate their money if they don’t know who they’re donating to and what their donations are being used for.
The ceremony ended with the passing of a $50,275 check from Col. Robert B. Boucher, commanding officer of MCAS Iwakuni, to O’neal. The check represented station-wide donations earned from March through April, 2015.