USS Pearl Harbor (lsd52) 

USS Pearl Harbor Kicks Off 2012 NMCRS Fund Drive with Bingo Game 
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason Behnke, Amphibious Squadron 5 Public Affairs 
USS PEARL HARBOR, At Sea - Sailors and Marines deployed aboard amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52) kicked off its 2012 Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) fund drive with a bingo game and ice cream social, March 2.

Sailors and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) promoted the drive by teaming up with the ship's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) committee to hold an event for the crew.

"We held a bingo night to raise awareness for the drive," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Andy Burnett, Pearl Harbor's NMCRS assistant coordinator. "So many people on the ship love to play bingo and everyone loves ice cream, so it's a great way to get everyone's attention to the fund drive."

Sailors and Marines filled the ship's mess decks to eat ice cream and play bingo, while the hosts called numbers over the ship's closed-circuit television system.

In between handing out prizes to the winners, the hosts spread the word about what NMCRS does for service members.

"It went well," said Chief Boatswain's Mate David Coben, one of the hosts. "We wanted to get the word out and I think we did that."

Coben and Burnett said the ship used more funds from NMCRS than they donated last year. Each agreed they wanted the crew to set a goal to make sure that does not happen this year.

"We don't want to set a limit," said Burnett. "We have some limits in mind, but we would like to exceed what happened last year."

Pearl Harbor's fund drive will continue throughout the months of March and April.

The 2012 Fund Drive will support active duty as well as retired and Reserve Sailors, Marines, and eligible family members with financial, educational, and other programs in a time of need.

Founded in 1904, NMCRS is a private non-profit charitable organization that is sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world.

Pearl Harbor and embarked Marines assigned to the 11th MEU are deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
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