49th Transportation Battalion raises more than $27,000 for charity
Transportation Soldier nominated for CFC Hero Award

Story and photo by Sgt. Ryan L. Twist
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — A Soldier with the 49th Transportation Battalion helped raise $27,242.15 for the Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas, which promotes and supports charitable organizations through philanthropy by federal employees.

First Lt. Anshwa L. Pennington, the adjutant officer with the 49th Trans. Bn. out of Fort Hood, Texas, 90th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was nominated for the CFC Hero award by Sgt. 1st Class Karen Stokes, a battalion senior human resource sergeant with the 49th Trans. Bn., for organizing the campaign which ran from Oct. 5 to Dec. 13.

The CFC Hero Award recognizes those unsung heroes who made extraordinary contributions to the campaign through their creativity, dedication and leadership, according the CFC's Web site.

Stokes, a Virginia Beach, Va., native, said she nominated Pennington because she put in endless hours of preparation to start the campaign and keep it moving toward success.

"I feel she deserves this honor," she said. "She put in a lot of off hours and restless nights. She reported weekly updates on the increase of financial support for the battalion and she was an integral part of the battalion exceeding its initial CFC goal. It was a great experience to see her in action."

With Pennington's help, the 49th raised $7,998 through the CFC Fund Run Oct. 3, said Stokes, who helped with the coordination of supplies, volunteer support and T-Shirts for the event.

Pennington, a Houston native, said donations from subordinate units totaled more than $19,200.

"Our units truly took ownership of the campaign and, as a result, three units were awarded the Platinum Award from CFC, two were awarded the gold, and one awarded the Bronze Award," she said.

Pennington said the battalion and the 15th Sustainment Brigade will receive the Silver Award – the highest level attained in the 13th SC(E).

As the appointed battalion CFC representative, Pennington organized fundraising opportunities to publicize the purpose of the CFC.

"I was personally responsible for coming up with all events the battalion hosted," she said.

The Joint Base Balad, Iraq, community needed to understand the CFC before the campaign began, said Pennington, so she and Stokes conducted a conference call for all 20 unit representatives. During that conference, she offered suggestions for fundraisers at their level.

The campaign succeeded, not because it raised money, but because it raised the awareness of the CFC throughout Iraq, she said.

Stokes, the alternate battalion CFC representative, said she assisted in the monitoring and managing of the campaign, but Pennington was the mastermind behind the CFC Fund Run. Stokes said Pennington taught her how to devise a plan, think it through, write it out and follow up on each action.

If she applies what she learned from Pennington, Stokes said events she helps coordinate in the future could be as successful as this CFC.

"Two months before the campaign began, she spearheaded her team in devising a plan to execute a battalion sponsored Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Fund Run as the CFC kickoff event," she said. "This run served as a catalyst and afforded participants on Joint Base Balad (the opportunity) to support the cause and run simultaneously. With her leadership, her team of seven Soldiers sacrificed countless hours in preparing, planning and coordinating this significant event."

The team created and posted hundreds of flyers throughout JBB, working to advertise the event to the widest audience possible, said Stokes. This made the 49th Trans. Bn. CFC Fund Run the most publicized event at JBB, she said.

Pennington said they were successful because of the efforts of the Soldiers in her personnel section, who carried the vision for the run, briefed and managed all the volunteers, answered questions, coordinated efforts with Force Protection and medics, and conducted the ceremonial portion of the event.

A cyber auction was held within the battalion, during which members of the battalion bid on donated items from the United Services Organization and the JBB community, said Pennington.

"It's a cyber auction because all of our units are — at 17 different locations and it is difficult to promote donations when we are so spread out," she said.

The CFC team also hosted an ice cream social for the green tab huddle, which is part of a leadership development program that took place during the fundraiser, said Pennington.

"I've only been in the Army 18 months, so this is my first time participating in a CFC," she said. "I did not expect the level of success we attained during the run. I set a goal for $2,000. I now have high expectations for future CFC campaigns."

Pennington said she was honored and humbled by the recognition she received for her success.

"I was appointed this duty having known nothing about CFC and, at the end of the campaign, I could brief anyone on its importance and the various donation options," she said. "Now I can see the other side to why I can go to the Dallas Airport USO and enjoy free snacks, a movie and Internet service – all made possible by those who donate to charities (or) non-profits through programs like the CFC.

"Because I was appointed as the representative, I wanted to ensure we met our commander's intent of raising $10,000. We far exceeded this goal."

The 427th Mobile Control Team out of Norristown, Pa., at Contingency Operating Location Q-West, Iraq, received the Gold Award.

The Platinum Award was given to the 601st Mobile Control Team out of Santa Fe, N.M., currently stationed at Basra and Kalsu, Iraq; the 622nd Mobile Control Team out of Fort Eustis, Va., currently stationed at Al Taqqadum, Iraq; the 969th Mobile Control Team out of Edinburg, In., currently stationed at Joint Base Balad, Iraq; and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 49th Transportation Battalion out of Fort Hood, Texas, currently stationed at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

The Gold Award was given to the 509th Mobile Control Team out of Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, currently stationed at Contingency Operating Location Speicher, Iraq.

The Bronze Award was given to the 612th Mobile Control Team out of Fort Lee, Va., currently stationed at Contingency Operating Location Adder, Iraq.


news photo
The 49th Transportation Battalion out of Fort Hood, Texas, sponsored a Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Fund Run Oct. 3 at Holt Stadium at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The event had more than 600 participants and raised $7,998 for the campaign

news photo
Service members raised $7,998 at the 49th Transportation Battalion-sponsored Combined Federal Campaign – Overseas Fund Run Oct. 3 at Holt Stadium at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.