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Chef Rob Ohlsen and Auxiliary Unit Coordinator Chris Burns serving Coast Guard members and families.

For the second year in a row, members of the community showed their appreciation to the families of United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May and home-ported cutters for their sacrifices while giving them a thoughtful Thanksgiving meal.

John Burns, the auxiliary unit coordinator for the station, Chef Robert Ohlsen, a culinary arts instructor at the Cumberland County Technical Education Center, and Nick DiRenzo, owner of Westside Meats, in Rio Grande, worked with Lt. Jason Harczak, the station commanding officer, to make a special family-style dinner for a "family" of 65.

Because Coast Guard personnel of the duty section need to be underway for an emergency in less than six minutes, the dinner was held on the Coast Guard Base, at the All Hands Club. DiRenzo donated the food, and under the supervision of Chef Ohlsen, John Burns and his wife, Chris, helped with food preparation and serving. Chef Ohlsen’s wife, Teresa, and his daughter, Christina, also helped in preparing and serving the dinner.

“Our goal is simply to provide Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, desserts, etc., to members of our Coast Guard community as a simple way of showing our appreciation to them, especially those who will not be able to travel home to be with family over the holiday,” said DiRenzo.

U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2nd) stopped by for a surprise visit to share Thanksgiving wishes and thank service members, their families, and veterans for their service.

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U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-2nd), left, recognized coordinators of the Coast Guard Training Center Cape May’s Thanksgiving dinner, including Auxiliary Unit Coordinator John Burns, center, and Chef Rob Ohlsen, right. 

Van Drew also awarded a special proclamation to DiRenzo for his generosity, and joined Lt. Harczak in presenting Ohlsen, Burns and DiRenzo with framed photographs of the station's complement, signed by each member.