One fleet manager’s personal achievement has grown into a major effort to thank those who helped make it possible and a challenge to others to say thanks, too.

The former City of Long Beach, Calif., fleet manager, Frank Morgan is now the deputy director of maintenance operations for the transportation and operations department at the City of Fremont, in northern California. He was planning a get-together last summer to celebrate earning an MBA degree. As Morgan explained to The Press newspaper in Brentwood, Calif., he invited his neighbors and as the invitation list grew, someone suggested raising some money at the same time.

“We decided we should make it a fundraiser,” Morgan told The Press. “We didn’t want to waste the opportunity” by just holding a big party.

Originally a neighborhood effort, the fundraising idea became a widespread effort to raise money for military veterans. It seemed fitting to dedicate Morgan’s celebratory bash to the men and women who made his education — and everything else in America — possible, he told The Press.

“In spite of all the sacrifice our military veterans have already given on behalf of our country, they continue to inspire us with their courage as they return home and quietly struggle daily with the physical and emotional scars that their service has left them with,” Morgan said. “They’ve sacrificed a lot for us. The least we can do is party for them.”

Morgan added, “We challenge all proud Americans, certainly all fleet professionals, to host their own ‘What A Country’ party/event in support of veterans and/or their families. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to help our heroes, and the potential is unlimited if we all separately do our small part.”

Details for hosting a veteran’s support party or to help with donations and publicity are available at www.whatacountry All funds raised will be donated to the Brentwood Veterans Hall, a nonprofit organization that accepts, manages, and distributes 100 percent of funds collected to designated beneficiaries.

Morgan encouraged nominations from the community of a deserving veteran, veteran’s family, or vet organization that could benefit from a helping hand. The nominations are listed on the Web site. Donors may specify a beneficiary.

The project’s goal is to “significantly” impact the lives of those who have sacrificed for the U.S.

“If we can help someone with college expenses, get their car running, or make some house payments, that’s great,” said Morgan. “There won’t be any disappointment no matter how much we raise. It’s all a success.”