Township Resident to Receive ‘Ambassador of Peace’ Medal

POTTSGROVE PA – It’s proving to be a busy run-up to Thanksgiving for the DeRenzo family.

Gary DeRenzo, currently the Pottsgrove School District’s director of co-curricular programs and community relations and its former long-time athletic director, was presented Friday (Nov. 19, 2021) by the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame with its 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.

And on Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 23) DeRenzo’s father, Lower Pottsgrove resident Dominic DeRenzo, is scheduled to receive the Korean Ambassador Medal for Peace from Pennsylvania 44th District state Sen. Katie Muth during ceremonies at her office.

The commemorative medal represents “an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to United States service men and women who served in the Korean War,” Muth’s staff reported. Dominic DeRenzo is among eligible veteran recipients who served in-country during the war between June 25, 1950 and July 27, 1953; or who participated in UN peacekeeping operations until the end of 1955; or who served aboard a naval vessel assigned to Korean waters from 1950 to 1953.

Now age 92, DeRenzo served as a chef aboard the U.S. Navy’s USS Point Cruz, an escort carrier that patrolled the Korean coast in submarine detection efforts during the conflict. After its end, Point Cruz also served as a helicopter base for a famous prisoner-of-war exchange called “Operation Platform.” That effort was the subject of a 1997 made-for-television movie titled “A Thousand Men and A Baby.”

Gary DeRenzo has publicly credited his parents, Dominic and Ruth Ann, for instilling their values, beliefs, and discipline in raising their family, and for his own successes. He proclaimed himself a “proud son” in an e-mail this week.

Muth’s district includes Lower Pottsgrove, Limerick, and Upper Providence townships and Royersford and Collegeville boroughs in Montgomery County; North Coventry and East Coventry townships in Chester County; and Amity and Douglass townships in Berks County. If you know someone who may qualify for the medal, Muth’s office can provide assistance in applying for the honor. Call 610-792-2137, or send a text to 610-590-7938 for more information.