While the rough-and-tumble economy has continued to make lighthouse restoration work a challenge, 2010 proved to be another successful year out on “The Rock.” Last summer we received word of an important state restoration grant from the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program, by far our most loyal and important institutional funder. In June MLAP awarded Gull Rock Lightkeepers $20,000 for lighthouse interior restoration work. We would not have qualified for this grant, however, if not for the matching funds from our loyal and supportive donor community. While the grant was received last summer, it cannot be spent until next year’s summer construction season.
In another important milestone, we finally put together a short YouTube video about our 2008 roof restoration work. The short film does a very nice job of quickly telling the story of the largest restoration project we have completed to date. We thought this short video would help supporters and others see just how much progress we are making at our remote light station. So the next time you are online, see firsthand how we have put your donation dollars to work at the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF5Buqhrhh8
But we found other unique ways to make progress at the lighthouse this year. One of our most loyal volunteers, Roger Welsh, took on an extraordinary project: building from scratch an entire set of temporary replacement windows for the lighthouse. Because Roger (and his wife Eva Newman) kindly donated their time, this project saved Gull Rock thousands of dollars. For the last 35 years or so the lighthouse windows (or what is left of them) have been boarded up. This has kept natural light out of the building and it has prevented the lighthouse from breathing. Now, thanks to Roger and Eva, next year we should be able to let the sunshine in, as well as some badly needed air circulation. This kind of work by our dedicated volunteers has been crucial in our efforts to keep the restoration pace going despite the down economy. These are temporary, removable windows that will only be used during the construction phase at the lighthouse. Eventually these windows will be replaced by historically accurate windows, complete with antique glass that Roger has already acquired. Those permanent windows will be installed once all the interior restoration work is complete a few years down the road.
With the holidays just around the corner I would like to formally thank Roger and Eva for their dedicated hard work on behalf of Gull Rock this year. And I would also like to thank all of you for your thoughtful and loyal support. It is our hope that you can include Gull Rock in your 2010 giving plans as we begin to gear up for another exciting construction season out at the lighthouse next summer. Thank you in advance for your support this year, and we promise to keep you posted on our progress in 2011.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Gull Rock.
Peter Annin Executive Director
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