It’s only natural for ACF Augusta Chapter President Peter Vossenberg, M.Ed., CEC, CCE, CCA, AAC, to want to give back to veterans—because he is not only one himself, but during his six years in the U.S. Navy, he got the opportunity to really hone his cooking skills and build the foundation for his career. And that career has come full circle: When he’s not heading his ACF chapter, he works as a Chef Instructor at Helms College in Augusta, Georgia, where he often teaches veterans how to succeed in the culinary industry, while leveraging the skills they gained in the military. We checked in with Chef Vossenberg to find out what his chapter is currently doing to help the local veteran community.
Q: What has been going on with your chapter lately?
We’re hooking up a lot with the American Legion and we’re doing fundraisers for them. We just did a low country boil that raised $3,000, and that money is going towards Thanksgiving for feeding the homeless vets, and also for Christmas for the children of homeless vets so they get presents. We helped raise funds for that, which is a really big, huge success.
We also hosted a brunch at the American Legion, something they’ve never done before. Some of the chapter members and I got together, came up with a really nice menu, and provided brunch for the veterans before or after they went to church. We started at 10 o’clock in the morning and it was done at three o’clock. We’re also hooking up with Ubora Coffee Roasters, which is run and owned by veterans and active duty servicemembers.
Q: What does the chapter have planned for the future?
We’re planning on having an event where people get a cup of coffee and a croissant for every unwrapped toy of $5 or greater that they donate. We’re trying to plan it out right now, so we can get as many toys as we can.
Q: How do the chapter members feel about the activities you’re involved in?
They’re really enjoying it. I think because I’m always trying to do something on the weekend, they might be a little bit tired of all the events. I’m always asking for volunteers, and a lot of people have things to do on the weekend, but events are spaced out, usually once a month. Also, it’s really neat getting my students who are currently becoming members of the ACF involved. They really get a big bang out of it because they’re seeing what they learn in culinary school out in the community, so they really get a lot of experiential learning doing that.