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Firework donation ends with a bang

From left, Stacey Pennington, Santa Maria Valley Young Men’s Christian Association associate director, Tech Sgt. Eric Liese, 30th Space Communication Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of executive communications, Krista Delia, SMV YMCA youth and volunteer coordinator, and Nadia Frakes, SMV YMCA child care director, pose for a photo during the check presentation to Liese July 28, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.  The SMV YMCA runs a firework booth yearly to raise money for community support programs, and this year decided to donate eight percent of the proceeds to a local military support group. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/ Released)

From left, Stacey Pennington, Santa Maria Valley Young Men’s Christian Association associate director, Tech Sgt. Eric Liese, 30th Space Communication Squadron non-commissioned officer in charge of executive communications, Krista Delia, SMV YMCA youth and volunteer coordinator, and Nadia Frakes, SMV YMCA child care director, pose for a photo during the check presentation to Liese July 28, 2014, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The SMV YMCA runs a firework booth yearly to raise money for community support programs, and this year decided to donate eight percent of the proceeds to a local military support group. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman 1st Class Yvonne Morales/ Released)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Santa Maria Valley Young Men's Christian Association recently raised money to donate to a Vandenberg Airman in need.

The SMV YMCA runs a firework booth yearly to raise money for community support programs, and this year decided to donate eight percent of the proceeds to a local military support group.

"During July 2nd through 4th YMCA volunteers and staff came together to sell fireworks," said Master Sgt. James Desgrange, 14th Air Force non-commission officer in charge, requirements branch.

During the three day sale the SMV YMCA made $24,800, making the 8 percent donation $1,984. The check was presented by SMV YMCA staff members Stacey Pennington, associate director, Krista Delia, youth and volunteers coordinator, and Nadia Frakes, child care director.

The Airman and Family Readiness Center and Master Sgt. Stephen Garrison, the 30th Space Communication Squadron first sergeant identified Tech Sgt. Eric Liese, 30th SCS non-commissioned officer in charge of executive communications, as an Airman going through a tough situation, said Desgrange. "With their help, I wrote up his story for the SMV YMCA Board of Directors for their approval. They loved his story and approved it the next day."

Desgrange, who is the outreach chairman of the Top 3 organization, received the request to help the SMV YMCA identify a potential donation recipient. The organization promotes welfare and recognition of enlisted members.

Due to the events success, the SMV YMCA plans to continue the donation next year.

"As people become more aware of what we are doing I think it will continue to grow," said Pennington. "I do believe people in this community know and understand the importance of what service members do for us every day."