CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — On July 22 at the annual board meeting of the Coast Guard Community Foundation, Freeholder Jeffrey L. Pierson was elected by the board of trustees to serve as chairman of the foundation.
Pierson replaced Freeholder Will Morey, who has served as the founding chair since 2015; he will serve a two-year term. Vicki Clark, president of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, was elected to serve as vice-chair, and Eli Massood was re-elected as treasurer.
The Coast Guard Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2015. The mission is to nurture the relationship between members of the Coast Guard at the Training Center in Cape May and their families and the residents of Cape May County. The foundation works with the county's businesses, organizations and 16 municipalities to sponsor activities for education and foster a deeper connection between the Coast Guard and the community.
Pierson served in the U.S. Army and New Jersey Army National Guard for 42 years, retiring as a brigadier general. He has been active with the Coast Guard Community over the past five years and most recently worked on the renewal of the Coast Guard Community application to extend the designation for Cape May County to continue to be an official Coast Guard Community. The application is being reviewed by the Coast Guard and, upon approval from the commandant, will be submitted to Congress for final review.
Morey congratulated his colleague on his election and said he was encouraged about the direction Pierson will take the foundation. "I'm pleased that Jeff has advanced to the chairman position and am confident that he will lead the foundation into meeting its mission and goals to cultivate an even stronger relationship with the men and women of the Coast Guard and Cape May County, TRACEN Hometown," Morey said.
Under Morey's leadership, the Coast Guard Foundation has experienced continual growth and has expanded its reach throughout Cape May County. Since the inception of the foundation and the Coast Guard Community designation, the foundation has sponsored annual Coast Guard Community Festivals held the first weekend in May. It hosted the Southern New Jersey Coast Guard Ball in 2018 and 2019 and has sponsored family-friendly community events such as art shows and exhibits that showcase the history of the Coast Guard.
"It is an honor to be elected serve as the chairman of the Coast Guard Community Foundation. The work that has been done over the past five years is impressive, and we should all be proud of the accomplishments made to date to acknowledge the men and women of the Coast Guard. It is so important for us as a county to recognize and reach out to the local Coast Guard personnel and show our appreciation to them for the service they provide to our residents, visitors, and our country. I can't say enough about the work that has been done under Chairman Morey, the trustees, local elected officials and volunteers to bring this organization this far in just a few years. The events and programs have been outstanding and have highlighted the pride and the appreciation we have for those serving in the Coast Guard." Pierson said.
The Coast Guard Community is a designation that is earned through building a relationship and acknowledging the efforts of the Coast Guard men and women and their families who are assigned to the training base in Cape May. Cape May County first received the five-year designation in 2015 and awaits its renewal.
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