FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATE:     July 3, 2006

CONTACT:     Peter Annin, Executive Director, Gull Rock Lightkeepers, info@gullrocklightkeepers.org


GULL ROCK LIGHTKEEPERS ANNOUNCES FIRST RAFFLE

Copper Harbor, MI – Gull Rock Lightkeepers (GRL) is kicking off its first fundraising raffle, and the grand prize is a VIP tour of the remote and inaccessible Gull Rock Lighthouse. “For the first time in nearly a century, this is an opportunity for people to legally tour this unique and historic lighthouse property,” says Peter Annin, executive director of Gull Rock Lightkeepers. “Because of its remote location, at times this can be a tough lighthouse to reach, but this raffle is our attempt to open up the light station to the public on a limited basis that is compatible with its remote location.”

Raffle tickets will be sold for $5 and the drawing will take place on August 12, 2006 in Copper Harbor. (You do not need to be present to win.) Winners will be allowed to bring one guest on an escorted tour of the lighthouse. Once the raffle is complete, GRL and the winner will work together to set a mutually convenient date to visit the light station sometime during 2007 boating season. Raffle winners need to realize that because Gull Rock sits in the open waters of Lake Superior, they will have to be patient if weather prevents them from reaching the lighthouse on the appointed date. “The old lighthkeepers sometimes had to wait for days until Lake Superior’s waves calmed enough so that supply deliveries could reach Gull Rock,” Annin says. “Raffle winners will need to be equally patient. We won’t make the crossing in unsafe conditions.”

Constructed in 1867 and located on a small island off the tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, Gull Rock Lighthouse has played a significant role in Lake Superior’s maritime history. The light station was automated in 1913, and it remains an active aid to navigation today. While the tower and lantern room are in relatively good condition, the interior of the keeper’s dwelling is in extremely bad shape. Thanks to a large hole that existed in the roof for many years, the second floor of the lighthouse has rotted and collapsed down onto the first floor. Parts of the first floor, in turn, have collapsed down into the cellar. What’s more, the lighthouse roof once gain finds itself in a state of significant disrepair, and GRL is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to have the roof replaced next summer.

Raffle winners and their guests will be transported to Gull Rock in rubber, inflatable Zodiac-style boats. But even under the best conditions, Annin points out, accessing Gull Rock can be physically challenging. “This is not a tour for the faint of heart,” he says. “Only people who are physically prepared to participate in a Lake Superior adventure should take part in this raffle.”

On July 4, a booth will be set up in the village park in downtown Copper Harbor to sell raffle tickets. But tickets can also be purchased by mail. Please send payment along with a self-addressed-stamped envelope to the address listed below. Payments that arrive after the August 12 raffle date will be returned.

Gull Rock Lightkeepers is a 501(c)( 3) nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the restoration of Gull Rock Lighthouse, a structure that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984. Tax-deductible donations on behalf of the lighthouse can be sent to Gull Rock Lightkeepers, Box 126, Copper Harbor, MI 49918.




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


DATE:     August 18, 2006

CONTACT:     Peter Annin, Executive Director, Gull Rock Lightkeepers, info@gullrocklightkeepers.org
       


OHIO COUPLE WINS FIRST GULL ROCK RAFFLE

Copper Harbor, MI – A pair of lighthouse enthusiasts from Ohio won the first raffle ever held by Gull Rock Lightkeepers (GRL). Debbie Roark and her husband Gary Riemenschneider of Dublin, Ohio were the lucky winners of the drawing held in downtown Copper Harbor on August 12. The couple will now be treated to a guided VIP tour of Gull Rock Lighthouse—one of the most remote and inaccessible lighthouses in the Great Lakes. The tour will take place during the 2007 Lake Superior boating season.

Despite living hundreds of miles away from Gull Rock, Ms. Roark and Mr. Riemenschneider are very familiar with the historic light station. Earlier this month they passed by Gull Rock as part of a multi-day Lake Superior lighthouse cruise on the Keweenaw Star, the Houghton-based excursion vessel that offers a number of lighthouse tours per year. “They had the opportunity to see Gull Rock from the water this year, so they certainly have a sense of the adventure that lies ahead,” remarked Peter Annin, executive director of Gull Rock Lightkeepers. “Next year they will be among a select few who have actually ventured inside this famously remote Lake Superior light station.”
The Gull Rock raffle attracted widespread attention. While the vast majority of the tickets were sold to people in Michigan (many of them residents of the Keweenaw) tickets were also sold to people from Missouri, Colorado and Florida, in addition to the winning ticket from Ohio. Hundreds of dollars were raised in the raffle, and all of those proceeds will go directly to Gull Rock Lighthouse.

Constructed in 1867 and located on a small island off the tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, Gull Rock Lighthouse has played a significant role in Lake Superior’s maritime history. The light station was automated in 1913, and it remains an active aid to navigation today. While the tower and lantern room are in relatively good condition, the interior of the keeper’s dwelling is in a state of significant disrepair. A multi-year restoration effort is currently underway.

Gull Rock Lightkeepers is a 501(c)( 3) nonprofit organization solely dedicated to the restoration of Gull Rock Lighthouse, a structure that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984. Tax-deductible donations on behalf of the lighthouse can be sent to Gull Rock Lightkeepers, Box 126, Copper Harbor, MI 49918. For more information and photos of the lighthouse please visit our website, www.gullrocklightkeepers.org.

View the raffle winner's trip journal.



 

 

Photos provided by Jeff Shook and Mike Kohlman

 



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