The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse History Lesson Plan has been approved and will be taught in four fourth grade classes at MILA Elementary School. The lessons are planned for the first week in May, after which those four fourth grade classes will participate in field trips to the lighthouse via BCPS busses.
Core Mission: It’s About Membership!
Dear Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Supporters:
My wife and I are Lifetime Members of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation be-cause we wholeheartedly believe in the Foundation’s goals. I admit that it seems like a lot of money when you write that Lifetime Membership check, but when I penciled out what Lisa and I pay for annual membership renewal year after year, and I consider how much it helps the Lighthouse Foundation to receive those Lifetime Memberships, it was an easy check to write. Lisa and I are family members for life!
But it did get me thinking about our Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation membership, which I do hope includes you. The continuing existence of the Foundation and the very survival of the lighthouse itself de-pend on the good will of our members. Membership renewals are critical to our survival, so if you haven’t renewed your membership, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. We have several options available as listed below: Whichever you choose, know that your dues are the lifeblood of our Foundation.
Asst. Lighthouse Keeper (Individual) -$35
Lighthouse Keeper (Family)-$50
Head Lighthouse Keeper -$100
Life Membership (Individual) -$1,000
Life Membership (Family-2) -$1,500
I then have another request for our membership: Let’s double! Considering the size of the local population and in light of the profound significance of our Cape Canaveral Lighthouse, our current membership (which is less than 200) should easily be double.
So I’m asking everyone reading this: If you aren’t already a member, please consider becoming one today. We need you! If you are already a member, please recruit at least one more person to join us. It’s easier than you think, because people love lighthouses, and good people will get behind a good cause.
Maybe you’ll even take the step Lisa and I took and join us as Lifetime Members!
See you at the Lighthouse!
Today, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is a short drive from any of the beautiful communities surrounding the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, but in the mid-19th century, the lighthouse may as well have been on the moon. The keeper had his family, the assistant keeper’s family and a few other homesteaders in the area for company. As it was, the tiny community had to handle for themselves many of the things we often don’t deal with today. Without air conditioning, modern medicines, mosquito abatement programs, the real danger for these residents was the ever-present shadow of death. These small, scattered communities often had either family grave plots or small communal plots set aside for burial. With the dawn of the Space Age, came the need for a large, safe and secure area from which to conduct rocket launches. The families who had been living in the “too close for comfort” zone were relocated, but their personal ties and histories were forever linked to home sites and cemeteries on the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Today there are several of these plots that are maintained by the 45th Space Wing Cultural Resources Manager, Thomas E. Penders. To honor their memories, the CCAFS in conjunction with the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation hosts an Annual Descendants Day Recognition event with bus tours of the lighthouse and grave sites.
Descendants Day 2017 will be held on May 6th from 9:00am – 12:00pm. All unbadged participants will meet at the CCAFS Southgate Pass & ID Building where they will board Air Force buses. As in the past, a welcoming reception with finger foods, soda and coffee will be held for the descendants at the Cape Café prior to conducting the tour of the lighthouse, home sites and cemeteries. Our host and organizer is Dr. Sonny Witt, author of Drawn to the Light, and The Discovery of Cape Canaveral. He will have a slide show of old photos running continuously during the reception. At the end of the tour, the buses will return to the Pass & ID Building.
A visit to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse is truly a visit through the past. From the unique first floor door to the 151’ spiral staircase, you learn what life must have been like for the Lighthouse Keepers. Now, while waiting to climb the historic staircase, you can take a “walking tour” outside the lighthouse and journey back in time to see pictures of the homes the lighthouse keepers lived in while keeping the Fresnel light shining.
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s Boy Scout Troop 701 Scout Master Tom Knudson was contacted and asked if he had a scout interested in doing a project for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Eagle Scout candidate, Mason Ripper, showed an interest. He visited the lighthouse, discussed his project with Dr. Sonny Witt, developed a proposal and presented it to the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation Board.
p style=”text-align: justify;””>The space inside the lighthouse is limited, so while visitors are waiting their turn to climb the historic staircase, they could learn a bit of the history of the Lighthouse Keepers. Mason’s project was to provide a “walking tour” for the lighthouse visitors awaiting access to the lighthouse. He planned to build three kiosks, each with a picture of the original cottage at that location, and an artist rendering of the proposed cottage that will be re-built. Each kiosk includes a poster telling the story of the lighthouse and the weekly lighthouse tours.
The project was approved on October 3 by the Boy Scout advisers. Mason completed the design and construction of the three kiosks, showcasing the pictures of the Keepers’ Cottages along with the history of the lighthouse. The scouts assisted with the placement of the kiosks on the lighthouse grounds on March 5, 2017.
Thanks for the direction and support of Dave Chasar (placement of the kiosks), Mike Wheeler (kiosk framing), Conny and Jeff Ripper (Mason’s parents), Dr. Sonny Witt (liaison with USAF, 45th Space Wing, Director of Operations), the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, and Ginny and Charles Davis, Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation members who assisted Mason in accomplishing his Eagle Scout Project.
A Few Words about the Florida Lighthouse Association (FLA)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
Baja Chowder & Seafood
Brano’s Italian Grill
CCLF Keeper’s Closet
Cocoa Village Playhouse
Country Inn & Suites
Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill
Florida’s Fresh Grill
Port St. John Veterinary Hospital
Radisson at the Port
Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar
Therese Roche, Independent Consultant, Thirty One Gifts