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Staff Sgt. Suzy Madrigal-Ames, left, and Staff Sgt. Jonica Parker, recently took over leadership of the Liberty 56, a volunteer group that supports base functions in a variety of ways.
Staff Sgt. Suzy Madrigal-Ames, left, and Staff Sgt. Jonica Parker, recently took over leadership of the Liberty 56, a volunteer group that supports base functions in a variety of ways. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

Everyone’s got their excuses for not getting involved in their community — lack of spare time and energy being chief among the alibis.

But Lakenheath Staff Sgts. Suzy Madrigal-Ames and Jonica Parker are hoping to change that as they assume the positions of vice president and president, respectively, of Liberty 56, a volunteer organization for the base community that does more than you might think.

From extensive fundraising work benefiting a variety of causes to lending a hand in everything from NCO induction parties to deployed spouses dinners, the duo want to stress the personal and social benefits that come from helping out the community.

So tell me about what Liberty 56 does.

Parker: Fundraisers, for one. We support the community and different organizations on base.

Madrigal-Ames: We do some morale-boosting.

What are the different kinds of activities your organization supports?

Parker: We do gift wrapping for the Red Cross [and support] the Airmen’s Food Pantry on base.

Madrigal-Ames: We provide briefings at [Airman Leadership School]. We tell them to join our organization.

How and why are you involved in Liberty 56?

Parker: Last year, my supervisor told me I needed to be more involved, and he put me in for secretary. After last year, I just loved it and wanted to bring some continuity to this year’s council.

Madrigal-Ames: I like to be involved. I’m involved in committees all over the base, to give my part back to any event.

How long have you two been leading Liberty 56?

Madrigal-Ames: We just took over about a month ago.

Is it hard balancing work and volunteer duties?

Parker: It does take a lot of time management and off-duty time.

Madrigal-Ames: You come in weekends, but it’s rewarding, and I don’t mind doing it. You see the end results: the people having a good time at your events.

For more information on the Liberty 56, e-mail Madrigal-Ames or Parker at suzy.madrigalames@lakenheath.af.mil or jonica.parker@lakenheath.af.mil

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