Jim Underwood – President CCLF


Last month, just 16 months after breaking ground, we held a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate the completion of construction of the first of three replica keepers’ cottages, and a restroom facility. On behalf of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation, a very special thank you to our benefactors, builders and believers!

With only ten years on the Board, I was one of the new kids whom Bob Merrilees inspired with his vision of one day recreating the historic lighthouse grounds and buildings to an earlier day – a time when the United States Space and Missile program was in its nascent rocket journey to space, the moon and beyond. “What was once, can be again,” became our shared vision for the future.

Fast forward and here we are today, achieving success – which would not be possible without the dedicated effort on the part of so many, it is impossible to name and thank each one individually. There are a few, however, who, in providing their time, talent and treasure, were vital to the Foundation reaching this milestone achievement.

Without the generous support of our benefactors, none of this would have been possible. Certainly, the Foundation’s Sponsors are true community beacons as their donations have provided the funding to sustain Foundation operations and support our vision. Most significantly, the two benefactors whose generous grants of $500K and $250K made the construction possible are, respectively, the Brevard County Commissioners Space Coast Tourist Development Council; and the State of Florida. We sincerely thank all of you.

Our builders include those who provided their skills and expertise to design and build these beautiful buildings. To all those from RZK Architects, the Construction Engineering Group (CEG), and Kinley Construction who helped us bring history back to life, thank you.

And then there are our believers, those who never gave up, who shared a vision and persevered through countless hours of planning and approval meetings, overcoming all obstacles to turn our vision into reality. From our dedicated Foundation membership, I personally wish to thank RADM Bob and Bev Merrilees, Ginny Davis, Rocky Johnson and Hal Row, our Project Manager. And from the Air Force, I’d also like to thank Sonny Witt, Tom Penders, Robert Elliott, Mike Blaylock and the ten Commanders of the 45th Space Wing whom we have served. Words do not adequately convey the deeply felt thanks you all deserve.

This was no “small step,” and the results are spectacular. What was once, is again!

See you at the Lighthouse!


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August 2019 Newsletter

The latest edition of the Canaveral Beacon is available now. It includes highlights and pictures of the Keepers Cottage Museum Ribbon Cutting held on July 19. The lighthouse had a visitor, Mr. Don Beck, President of Florida Summer Industrial Fellowships for Teachers, Inc. Mr. Beck and his family enjoyed a tour of the lighthouse. You will also find a brief article about the Kennedy Space Center Amateur Radio Club participating in International Lighthouse and Lightship Weekend at Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. In the Community Outreach section, you can read about the retirement of Chief Warrant Officers David G. Ladomirak, Commanding Officer, United States Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral. You can also read about Lighthouse volunteers participating in the USAF Space & Missile Museum 5th Annual Space Collectible Show and Sale.

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features Bob and Cheryl Dewitt. Meet them in the August newsletter.

Construction of the first of three lighthouse keepers’ cottages is complete. Soon we will begin transforming it into a museum displaying historic artifacts and housing interactive exhibits. The Lighthouse Foundation plans to hold a Public Grand Opening later this year, once the interior of the museum is complete.

Don’t forget to check out the exciting new tour opportunities on the Lighthouse Tours page and at Canaveral Lighthouse Tours,. You will see first hand the progress on the first keepers’ cottage.

You and your family can be part of the lighthouse restoration. Order your engraved brick and join in the history of the lighthouse. You can use the form in the newsletter to order your brick using traditional mail, or go to the Keepers’ Walkway page and order your brick online.

Check out some of the upcoming events for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation and the Florida Lighthouse Association. The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation will host a special fundraising event at Mark Pieloch’s American Muscle Car Museum on October 19. Also, join us on November 10, 2019, for the 2nd Annual Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation Half Marathon and 10K Race, benefiting the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse.For more information on upcoming Florida Lighthouse Association events, visit Florida Lighthouse Association.

You can view the newsletter at:

Canaveral Beacon – August 2019

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Lighthouse Tours

Canaveral Lighthouse Tours is now conducting weekly excursions in small groups to tour the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and historic spaceflight launch complexes. Tours are offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.

You can read a little about Shelley and Gerry Parker, owners of Cape Canaveral Tours in this month’s newsletter. The tours are an excellent opportunity to see the progress being made in the Keepers’ Cottage construction.

Plan and book your lighthouse tour today at Canaveral Lighthouse Tours, or call 321-307-2900 to make your reservations.

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Annual Foundation Sponsorship

Are you or your organization interested in being a Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation sponsor? You can find more information on our Lighthouse Foundation Sponsorship page. It includes a sponsorship letter from Foundation President Jim Underwood, and the Annual Sponsorship Form with more details on sponsorship levels.

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First Keeper’s Cottage Funded

On October 10th, 2017 the Brevard County Commissioners approved the Tourism Development Council recommendation to fund $500,000.00 for construction of the first Keeper’s Cottage for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Restoration of the Keeper’s Cottages has been a fundamental goal of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation since its establishment in 2002.

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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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