By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Ryan Smith, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det Japan
June 8, 2010 - YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Far East Chief Petty Officer Association (CPOA) at Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) presented a check for approximately $8,000 to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) June 7.
The money derived from a 117-hour consecutive run put on by the CPOA May 26 – 31, and will be given to NMCRS to support victims of the Millington flood. The CPOA and major contributors gathered at CFAY's Berkey Field to hand over the check a local NMCRS representative.
"This is one of the single largest donations we have ever received," said Amy Lacaria, president of Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Japan. "When I first heard about this fundraiser, I thought $1,500 would be a good goal, but they went well over what I thought they would earn."
The marathon was conducted on two treadmills and a stationary bike, and each hour as one chief completed his or her race against the clock, another "relieved the watch" for the next hour. The 117 time-frame of the event represented the number of years U.S. Navy chief petty officers have been walking the deckplates and leading Sailors. Proceeds were based on "per mile" pledges, but passers-by were also able to support the runners by donating on the spot. Area commands were encouraged to pledge based on the assumption that runners will average of five miles an hour.
"I feel we did very well, and this money is going to help out a lot of people in Millington," said participant and avid runner Chief Personnel Specialist (AW) Louis Saldana. "We had a great response to this event both from volunteers and people wanting to donate and help out, and we hope to do something like this again next year."
Saldana said he and other members of the CPOA hope their hard work and dedication will provide much-needed relief for their shipmates on the other side of the world.