Coast Guard members donate to holiday meal drive

The crew of Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich., and the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association partnered with the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club to make a donation Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, to provide meals to local families in need during the holiday season. Pictured are Seaman Aja White, Seaman Apprentice Cameron Porter, Kiwanis President Phil Ruegg, Chief Petty Officer Brandon Holt, representing the CPOA, Seaman Apprentice Nicholas Zanfardino, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Keith Fruncillo. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Beatty)

The crew of Coast Guard Station St. Ignace, Mich., and the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association partnered with the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club to make a donation Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, to provide meals to local families in need during the holiday season. Pictured are Seaman Aja White, Seaman Apprentice Cameron Porter, Kiwanis President Phil Ruegg, Chief Petty Officer Brandon Holt, representing the CPOA, Seaman Apprentice Nicholas Zanfardino, and Petty Officer 2nd Class Keith Fruncillo. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Beatty)

ST. IGNACE, Mich. – The crew of Coast Guard Station St. Ignace and the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association partnered with the St. Ignace Kiwanis Club to make a donation Friday to support local families during the holiday season.

“This act speaks volumes about the character of these young men and women, and I am very proud of their actions,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Mike Beatty, officer in charge of Station St. Ignace.

Each year at Thanksgiving, the Sault Ste. Marie CPOA supports every Coast Guard unit in the Sector Sault Ste. Marie area of responsibility by providing holiday meals for those standing watch and unable to be home with their families. This area spans the Upper Peninsula from Duluth, Minnesota, to St Ignace, Michigan, and includes Stations Alpena and Charlevoix in the Lower Peninsula.

This year, the crew of Station St. Ignace decided to pass this charity on to their community.

“We are already very fortunate, so why not help someone who really needs it,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Smith, who initiated the idea.

The crew presented the idea to the CPOA and it was immediately backed. Through the efforts of Petty Officer 1st Class Edward “Mike” Keuten, the Kiwanis Club was identified as the recipient, and Phil Ruegg, Kiwanis President, accepted the donation.

The donation will allow the Kiwanis Club to provide food baskets to local families in need during the upcoming holiday season.

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