Somers Point Group Formed to Support Coast Guard Cutter

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SOMERS POINT, N.J. -

A group in Atlantic County is coming together to help those who serve our country right here in South Jersey.

“Our military does not make a lot of money whatsoever," says James Toto, communications liaison for Lawson’s Pride of Somers Point. "So, whatever help they do get, they’re extremely appreciative."

So the group of volunteers set out to adopt a ship.

“The Lawrence Lawson was a perfect fit for us," says Toto. "It’s a 154-foot cutter. It’s a fast cutter that does drug interdiction, does rescue, does a lot of other support systems that are out there for emergency situations that happen off the coast."

With that Lawson’s Pride of Somers Point was created.

“Our group is about a dozen people and we gather monthly to find and figure out ways to help the families of the Lawson and the crew of the Lawson as well,” says Greg Sykora, vice chairman for the group.

The 23 crew members aboard the Lawrence Lawson, stationed in at the United States Coast Guard in Cape May, can be out to sea for a lengthy amount of time. So, part of the nonprofit’s goal is to help out back home.

“The fact is they’re away from their families," says Sykora. "Their families come here and they really don’t have a support group around them and our plan is to be that support group."

“If there’s a family emergency, we help get the sailor home to their families,” says Toto.

“We’re doing things like baby showers," says Sykora. "One of the guys, his wife is pregnant, he’s out at sea so we’re going to do a baby shower for them."

The organization got to know the crew better when the boat was commissioned in Cape May a few months ago. The day allowed the members to create relationships with the crew they’d be helping.

“It can be quite lonely," says Toto. "Even though you have your military family around you, it’s nice to have that other family that’s out there. We want to do the right thing for them, that’s why we’re doing this."

The members of Lawson’s Pride of Somers Point plan on doing whatever they can to support the crew at sea and their families on land right in South Jersey.


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