Rocky Johnson – President CCLF

The Idea of the Thing or the Thing Itself?

Preservation of historic artifacts is making national headlines at the moment. While the current headlines pertain mostly to war monuments and memorials, the talking points around the arguments certainly reinforce the impacts of “reminders of history” in our society. One thing is abundantly clear in the current debate: Reminders of our past can serve as powerful talismans in our journey into the future.

In college, we were taught the Value Theory Concept, which, boiled down, simply asks: Which is more valuable, the idea of the thing or the thing itself? In some cases we see that in an instant a valuable historic artifact disappears forever. In other cases we watch over time as a valuable historic artifact degenerates into nothingness. There is no “thing” there anymore, and the idea of the thing is that much harder to conjure up. An artifact can sit for generations and provoke no apparent thought or passion, and then suddenly cause a passionate eruption of volcanic proportion. An artifact can sit for generations and provoke no apparent thought or passion, and then quietly help generate the birth of an idea that grows to change our world.

Watching the 4th grade Brevard County Public Schools children tour our lighthouse, I’m confident that the “idea of the thing” is regenerated from their seeing, feeling and touching the lighthouse itself. George Santayana said that “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it”. I do personally thank each of you for helping us to preserve our lighthouse and its history. By joining us in the preservation of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, you are helping future generations to build upon the memories of those who have gone before us. I can’t wait to see where we go!

See you at the Lighthouse!
Rocky

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Lighthouse Festival

Lighthouse Festival
More details to come. Registration and tickets are set to begin on December 1, 2017.

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August 2017 Newsletter

The latest edition of the Canaveral Beacon is now available now. It includes an article about the Space Collectibles Show & Sale held on August 12, 2017. You will find a few photos from the event.

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features Barbara Moser and some of the fantastic things she has been doing for the lighthouse.

Registration is open for the 2017 Fall Meeting of the Florida Lighthouse Association at Cape Florida in Key Biscayne. Visit Florida Lighthouse Association to RSVP and join the festivities.

The Second Annual Florida Frontiers Festival at the Brevard Museum of History & Natural Science will be held on Saturday, October 21st from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum is located at 2201 Michigan Ave in Cocoa. For more information, visit Florida Frontiers Festival.

And don’t forget to save the date: February 10, 2018 for the Lighthouse Festival, celebrating the 150th light year for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Expect registration and tickets to begin December 1, 2018.

You can view the newsletter at:

Canaveral Beacon – August 2017

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Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA)

A Few Words about the Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA)
Bob Merrilees
Former President, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation

The Florida Lighthouse Association is a nonprofit group of citizen activists dedicated to the preservation of the 30 remaining historic lighthouses that line our state’s 1,350-mile coastline. Once central to the economic growth and settlement of our nation, many of Florida’s lighthouses face uncertain futures. We encourage members of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation to support FLA by joining and attending meetings. For details check out the website at www.floridalighthouses.org . FLA grants have helped us toward our goals of restoring our Canaveral Lighthouse community as it once was. Recently FLA awarded us a grant of $6,000 for the rental of a trailer to be placed at the lighthouse to house our gift shop and display our Brick Project. We ask you to show your appreciation by joining FLA today!

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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation Announces Opening of New Gift Shop

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation announced today the new gift shop (Keeper’s Closet) will open December 2.  The Keeper’s Closet is located on the grounds of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.

The Foundation raised funds with a $6,000 grant from the Florida Lighthouse Association and a Go Fund Me campaign in October for the air-conditioned, secure trailer.  The trailer is located adjacent to the lighthouse for convenience for the visitors during their tour of the lighthouse.  In addition to a retail gift shop, the engraved brick paver walkway project will be housed in the trailer.  Visitors will now have an opportunity to select a brick with a design that can be engraved and placed in the walkway surrounding the lighthouse.

“The Foundation was in dire need of a facility to house its Keeper’s Closet because it had outgrown its space on the first floor of the lighthouse.  The Keeper’s Closet and Engraved Brick Paver Walkway Project are the main fundraising efforts for the Lighthouse Foundation,” said CCLF President Bob Merrilees.

The Florida Lighthouse Association, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1996, to promote and preserve Florida’s historic lighthouses.  The FLA’s mission is to safeguard Florida’s remaining lighthouses for future generations by supporting community based restoration, preservation and education efforts.  The FLA receives several grant applications each year, making competition for the funding through the non-profit organization high.  To learn more about the Florida Lighthouse Association, visit www.FloridaLighthouses.org.

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, established in 2002, assists the US Air Force 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base in preserving, protecting, promoting and interpreting the lighthouse and its historical significance to the Florida Space Coast, State of Florida and Nation.  It is our intent to complete the historical integrity of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Complex by rebuilding the original Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages.  The Cottages will be designated as a replica home, an education center and an artifact display cottage with gift shop.  We seek sponsors to join us and contribute toward our efforts.

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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation Membership

A Few Words about CCLF Membership

from Bob Merrilees, President, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, we are making great strides with our tours on Friday and Saturday, each week in educating our community and out-of-town visitors about our lighthouse. The Keeper’s Closet continues to do well. We are working to take the history of our lighthouse and the Cape Canaveral community as it once existed, early settlers and prehistoric inhabitants, into our local schools and will keep you posted on our progress.

I cannot stress enough, how important membership is to our Foundation and we hope you will join our team as members and help us to continue to move forward. Detailed information about membership categories and contact information is on our Membership page or in this month’s Canaveral Beacon. Thanks to our members, volunteers, and sponsors for your continued support.

Lighthouse Tours

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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation’s Continued Quest

A Few Words from Bob Merrilees
President, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation continues its quest to rebuild the Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages and to increase access to the Lighthouse. The Air Force and other regulatory and environmental requirements have been diligently pursued and accomplished, for the most part. Our progress is due to the aggressive and persistent efforts of Ginny Davis, the heart of our Foundation. Now that we are at this pivotal point, funding is the challenge. Our critical need is a decision on how we go about this fundraising and who will lead this effort.

We have so many loyal partners in our corner such as RZK Architects; Hensel Phelps; Robert Elliott, our Air Force point of contact for site plans; as well as our members and volunteers. In the coming year we will be working to strengthen and broaden our Foundation Board in order to move forward toward our goals.
We are still looking for a Newsletter Editor and a Keeper’s Closet Manager and hope one or more volunteers will step up and lend a hand.

The resumption of the Lighthouse tours, which began in January 2016, has been a real boost to our visibility in the community and has resulted in an increased income stream from the Keeper’s Closet at the Lighthouse and occasional donations from SunWard Tours and the community.

We sincerely thank all of you for your continued support.

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Foundation Appreciation for Local Business Support

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation is grateful for the continued support from the following businesses that provided door prizes for the Membership/Volunteer Appreciation Event:

Andrei’s Restaurant
Applebee’s
Baja Chowder & Seafood
Bonefish Grill
Brano’s Italian Grill
CCLF Keeper’s Closet
Cocoa Village Playhouse
Country Inn & Suites
Dixie Crossroads
Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill
Florida’s Fresh Grill
Grills Restaurant
Milliken’s Reef
Port St. John Veterinary Hospital
Radisson at the Port
Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
Seafood Atlantic
Squid Lips
Therese Roche, Independent Consultant, Thirty One Gifts

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Keeper’s Closet Manager Update

Keeper’s Closet Manager
Our Keeper’s Closet is currently being managed, on an interim basis, by Bev Merrilees. Profits from the Keeper’s Closet continually support the Lighthouse and our goal of rebuilding the keepers homes and the Lighthouse community as it once was. It goes without saying that this is a key volunteer position for our Foundation. Experience in sales/marketing would be helpful. Bev and our Foundation Treasurer, Kathie Underwood, will work with you to transition into the job. We currently have a group of dedicated Keeper’s Closet volunteers. We are trying to expand our community outreach and also have our gift shop open each Friday and Saturday at the Lighthouse from 8:30 am to 10: am to accommodate the newly begun tours. These requirements necessitate more volunteers.

Manager Responsibilities include:

Inventory and document stock
Track items that are sold and back fill as needed Store stock
Price and prepare stock for sale
Recruit, train & schedule volunteers
Work with current manager to discuss current procedures and how they can be more efficient

If you want to help the Foundation in a really substantial way and would like more information about this interesting and challenging job, please get in touch with us at keeperscloset@canaverallight.org

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Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Begins New Tours

If you missed out on a chance to see the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse up close before the Air Force stopped its free tours more than two years ago, you can put it back on your list of things to do in the New Year. It won’t be free, but a new tour is starting Jan. 8. Tours of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and other sites at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station will be conducted on Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 8:30 a.m., departing from Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral in air-conditioned buses. The three­-hour tour will cost $27 per person. “In addition to doing the tours, we can now go ahead and do some fundraising,” said Bob Merrilees, president of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation. “The lighthouse is very, very popular. When we talk to people they want to get out there to see it.” The foundation had long sought more public access to the lighthouse. But security concerns kept it restricted, and federal budget cuts eliminated the free tour the Air Force had once offered.

Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, commander of the 45th Space Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, said in a statement that there has always been interest by the public to visit the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Lighthouse, which is why the wing entered into a partnership with the foundation. The foundation provides the tours, and the wing provides the access. “A lack of access to the lighthouse due to the national threat condition was brought to my attention my very first day in command and I promised to do what I could to reopen access to our historic sites while still ensuring the security of the base and our people,” Monteith said. “I’m happy to say that our team, working hand-­in-­hand with the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and NASA, allowed me to keep that promise.” Visitors will also have access to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station through Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex tours. “Additionally, we have partnered with NASA’s Delaware North contractor to provide historic CCAFS tours as a way to allow access to historic sites for folks from around the world who can see where space history began and continues today,” Monteith said.

For years the Air Force offered the tours using its own buses and volunteer tour guides. The free tours, which were conducted Wednesdays and Thursdays, showcased the mission of the 45th Space Wing and focused on the Air Force space program, with visits to several launch complexes, the Air Force Space and Missile Museum and the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. The tours were stopped after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then reinstated only to be eliminated again. It was in June 2013 when the tours became the victim of federal budget cuts. Sequestration at the time also caused the cancellation of Air Force Thunderbird performances, the suspension of the Tops in Blue entertainment group tour and the unpaid furloughs of Air Force civilian employees.

The foundation has contracted with Sunward Tours to do the lighthouse tours. In addition to the lighthouse, the tours include stops at Air Force Space and Missile History Center and at two historic launch complexes, as well as a drive by others. The tour also includes admission to Exploration Tower at Port Canaveral.

Merrilees, a retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral, said the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse will provide a guide on the bus in addition to one from Sunward Tours, but that the foundation will not make money from the tours. “The tours that we are going to do will be helpful to us because it will give us exposure,” he said. “The Air Force has been very helpful to us.” Buy Photo The 151­foot tall lighthouse is the only fully operational lighthouse owned and operated by the Air Force. The heritage of the lighthouse dates back to before the Civil War. It was 1848 when the original, 60-­foot version was built. Twenty years later, the second, taller lighthouse tower was built. The threat of shoreline erosion prompted the federal government to dismantle the lighthouse and move it about a mile­and­a­half inland in 1894, where it remains today.

The light, which comes on automatically at dark, flashes two times in 4.8 seconds, then is dark for 14.8 seconds before flashing again. It has a visible range of more than 20 miles. Renovations in 2006 ­ needed after hurricanes Frances and Jeanne accelerated the deterioration from age, salt air and leaks ­ were done as part of the preparations to allow more public access to the lighthouse. Now the foundation is preparing to move ahead with fundraising of about $1 million to build replicas of several lighthouse keepers cottages that were on the grounds of the lighthouse. “We now have the authority from the Air Force to go ahead and build,” Merrilees said. “It’s been 13 years in the making.”

If you go:

Cape Canaveral Lighthouse 3­-hour tours Fridays and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. beginning at Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral Tickets are $27 per person.

For ticket and information call SunWard Tours at (321­) 453-­3994. You can make your tour reservations online at www.CanaveralLighthouse.com.

R. Norman Moody, FLORIDA TODAY

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation sincerely appreciates the continued support of Florida Today in our effort to restore the lighthouse grounds to its historic state.

Additional information can be found on the Lighthouse Tours page.

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