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VAFB fire department raises thousands for burn survivors

Vandenberg’s Fire Department presents a check of $28,000 to Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors during a ceremony at the parade grounds June 7. The money, raised at Avila Beach Golf Resort April 16, will fund local burn centers and foundations, and benefit burn survivors and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Plew)

Vandenberg’s Fire Department presents a check of $28,000 to Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors during a ceremony at the parade grounds June 7. The money, raised at Avila Beach Golf Resort April 16, will fund local burn centers and foundations, and benefit burn survivors and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Plew)

Vandenberg’s Fire Department presents a check of $28,000 to Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors during a ceremony at the parade grounds June 7. The money, raised at Avila Beach Golf Resort April 16, will fund local burn centers and foundations, and benefit burn survivors and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Plew)

Vandenberg’s Fire Department presents a check of $28,000 to Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors during a ceremony at the parade grounds June 7. The money, raised at Avila Beach Golf Resort April 16, will fund local burn centers and foundations, and benefit burn survivors and their families. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Matthew Plew)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's Fire Department raised thousands of dollars and presented a check to Firefighters Quest for Burn Survivors during a ceremony at the parade grounds June 7.

The $28,000, raised at Avila Beach Golf Resort April 16, will fund local burn centers and foundations, and benefit burn survivors and their families, according to the Quest Website.

The fundraiser, which included a golf tournament, silent auctions and dinner, was the result of efforts by Vandenberg Fire Fighters led by Capt.Greg Leptich, a firefighter with Fire Engine 4.

"We spent four-and-a-half, maybe five months planning this event," said the captain, "And we raised five digits, more than any of the 100 Central and Southern California fire and police departments who participated this year."

The annual Central Coast Firefighters Charity Golf Tournament event has raised over $200,000 throughout the years, said Mark Farias, Chief of the Vandenberg Fire Department.

"Nothing great happens without good people doing selfless things," Chief Farias said.

Captain Leptich presented the check to the Quest sponsor after a parade of fire trucks, California Highway Patrol, sheriff and patrol cars convoyed to the parade grounds.

"This is a great opportunity for Central Coast Fire Departments to come together," he said.

Set to retire in November, Captain Leptich hopes to pass on the honor and duty of organizing the fundraiser to another.

"This takes a lot of work and effort, but it's worth it," he said.