Despite this year’s tough economy, we managed to continue our very successful restoration momentum on Gull Rock. In short, 2009 has been another great year for the lighthouse.
This, of course, is thanks to the generous donations from our supporters, and our continued success in obtaining matching funds from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program (MLAP). MLAP is an outstanding state agency that gets much of its revenue from the sales of “Save Our Lights” specialty license plates in Michigan. For every $1 we raise for restoration, we have been able to match that with another $2 dollars from MLAP. While MLAP receives numerous grant applications annually, only a handful of lighthouses receive funds, but Gull Rock has managed to make the cut for the last several years, and for that we are extremely grateful.
This year we received a $24,000 grant from MLAP, which we used to hire an historic architect to draw up complete interior and exterior plans and specifications for the keeper’s dwelling and privy. Getting these plans and specs is an important new stage for us as it finally allows us to embark upon interior restoration for the first time. This, in turn, is important because it means that we have started down the road toward realistically hosting guests and visitors at Gull Rock. How soon we get there, of course, depends on how quickly we can raise the cash to do the necessary work.
We also used some of this year’s grant money to restore the foundation of the Gull Rock privy, which was badly deteriorated, raising concerns about the small buildings’ ability to withstand a large Lake Superior storm. The work was completed in late August, and photos of the restored privy foundation can now be found on our website: www.gullrocklightkeepers.org.
Today, as our restoration work enters this new and exciting stage, we are asking you to support Gull Rock once again—this time for a fundraising initiative targeting interior restoration. All donations received by the end of this month can be used toward yet another MLAP grant application. So that means we have the potential to turn every $1 donation into a total of $3, thanks to MLAP. It is a great opportunity for you to triple your generosity on behalf of Gull Rock. And now we have made donating to Gull Rock easier than ever: you can donate securely online with a credit card through PayPal. See the Gull Rock website for complete instructions.
Thank you in advance for your support this year, and we promise to keep you posted on our progress in 2010.
In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to wish you Happy Holidays from all of us at Gull Rock.
Peter Annin Executive Director
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