Santa Maria, CA, 8/13/14:  Senior Airman Daniel Johnson’s memory was honored Monday by his widow and family with a donation of $16,500 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County.


The donation was made possible through the Daniel Johnson Memorial Golf Tournament, an annual event coordinated by the Johnson and Harlow families. This year’s tournament on June 16 doubled last year’s fundraising results and included a record number of golfers. To date, the Johnson and Harlow families have donated nearly $50,000 in Dan’s memory.


Kristen and Dan were newlyweds of just four months when he was killed in Afghanistan on October 5, 2010 during his second tour of duty. He was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base as a member of the U.S. Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team.


“This tournament means so much to me and my family,” explains Kristen Harlow Johnson, Daniel’s widow. “It is such an honor to be able to host this tournament in Dan’s name, and to have the community come out to support him year after year. Having so much love and support is a reminder that his sacrifice will not be forgotten.” 


After being assigned to Vandenberg, Dan and a friend volunteered as Big Brothers. Dan was paired with a 9-year-old boy named Tyler. 


“We were very fortunate to have had Dan as a Big Brother,” said Sarah Rudd-Lawlor, Program Manager of Big Brothers Big Sisters, a program of Family Service Agency.  “He was passionate about the importance of providing at-risk children with a strong role model and a trusted friend. He mentored strength, courage, pride and honesty, and had a very positive impact on our program.”



Recognized as the single most effective prevention-based mentoring program in the United States, Big Brothers Big Sisters (a local program of Family Service Agency) provides children facing adversity with strong, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. Last year, 220 youth throughout Santa Barbara County benefitted from the program – all children facing difficulties, many from homes with single-, low-income or incarcerated parents. Youth served through the program are more likely than their peers to succeed in school, make safer behavioral choices and have stronger relationships with their parents and others.



Established in 1899, Family Service Agency has long been regarded as one of Santa Barbara County’s most reliable and effective nonprofit human service organizations. FSA programs ensure access to food, shelter and other basic needs, as well as youth mentoring and a wide-array of mental health programs. Each year, nearly 20,000 Santa Barbara County residents receive services at FSA sites, as well as on school campuses, at community centers and in their homes.


Photo Caption (from left): Executive Director Lisa Brabo; Board Member Roberta Heter, Case Manager Maria Seda, Program Manager Sarah Rudd-Lawlor, Development Manager Melinda Johansson, and Kristen Johnson.


For more information, contact:       

Melinda Johansson

Office (805) 965-1001 x256

Cell (805) 451-3579

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