Jim Underwood – President CCLF

ALL HANDS ON DECK:
THE VALUE OF A READY & ABLE CREW

Dear Friends and Fellow Keepers,

I am often asked, “Why should I join the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation?” As a coastguardsman, I have long appreciated the beacons that illuminate our shores to guide sailors safely into port, so it seemed only fitting to join the Foundation and help keep the light shining. As President of its Board, it is a sincere privilege to have such ready and able volunteers who are the most selfless, hardworking and committed people I’ve ever met. Their passion for lighthouses and the historical significance these beacons have to our Country and the maritime industry is the force which drives CCLF’s commitment to preserving Cape Canaveral Lighthouse and sharing its beauty with others.

The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation was established on May 20, 2002, by a handful of dedicated community leaders who wanted to protect the lighthouse and make the history of the lighthouse, its keepers and their families come to life. A volunteer-led organization, CCLF members play an integral role in educating the Space Coast community and its visitors about the lighthouse and our efforts to restore and preserve this historic U.S. landmark.

Over the years, the many dedicated Foundation Board Members and general membership have recruited and trained volunteers; coordinated community events to get the word out about our lighthouse and our goals;and made presentations to community organizations, the Florida Lighthouse Association, the Brevard County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Counsel, and Florida State Legislators to obtain funds to rebuild the lighthouse community as it once was when the keepers and their families lived and worked there.They also developed a curriculum for Brevard County 4th grade school children, followed up with a field trip to the lighthouse, where these students can see and learn, firsthand, about the lighthouse and the keepers. Access to our lighthouse is foremost in our minds, and we now have regular tours each week, special group tours, and have just seen our first Port of Call Tour from one of the cruise ships visiting Port Canaveral.

There were times when our goals seemed lofty and perhaps unattainable; however, through the efforts of a dedicated and determined team of volunteers our first Keeper’s Cottage is under construction and nearing completion. Soon it will house our museum that will better enable us to share our lighthouse’s story to schoolchildren and visitors alike. And this is only the beginning! As we move forward, CCLF seeks to fully restore the grounds, adding two additional cottages to serve as an education center and community event space, all the while working hard to grow our membership and obtain funding to support these efforts.

I hope you will all join me in growing our membership and visitors – this is critical to our success!
Thanks for all you do.
See you at the Lighthouse!

Jim

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