Jim Underwood – President CCLF

A Resolve to Keep the Light Shining

Happy New Year! With the wake of success cresting at our stern, it’s full steam ahead for the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation as we venture into 2020. With an able crew and a bit of “dead reckoning” to navigate our course, I am eager to make way for our journey that lies ahead! Once underway, we’ll follow the stars to grow our membership, continue our grounds restoration project, and increase public access to the lighthouse — and all while celebrating the events that alter and illuminate our lives. At the end of my watch, I hope the foundation crew and I will have achieved our membership goal, secured funding for a second Keepers’ Cottage, and raised over $100,000 from fundraising.

Membership: As the saying goes, “if you’re not growing, you are dying.” In 2019, the Lighthouse Foundation made great strides towards achieving our membership goal of 750 individuals who pledge to annually renew their commitment towards preserving and promoting the history of Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. Achieving this goal in 2020 will provide assurance that the Foundation can sustain operations and conduct enhanced lighthouse tours, operate our new Keepers’ Cottage Museum, welcome Brevard County fourth grade students for educational field trips throughout the year, and host exclusive events for Cape Canaveral Lighthouse & Air Force Station descendants, Foundation sponsors, volunteers, and our members. If you have not renewed your membership, now is the time! We have made it easier to renew your membership, and we have made it easier for you to visit the lighthouse with the new Membership Caravans which we will offer on a frequent basis.

Education: During 2020, the Lighthouse Foundation will surpass a milestone of 1,000 student visitors as part of Brevard County’s educational program for fourth graders who come to the lighthouse to learn about the history of Cape Canaveral’s beacon and how it has shaped Florida’s Space Coast community. This year, we hope to expand this program to increase the number of students who participate and also secure funding for a second Keepers’ Cottage to serve as an education center to facilitate classroom learning. To this end, State Representative Tyler Sirois has introduced legislation, HB 4257 “The Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottage Education Center,” which would sufficiently fund this project.

Public Access: Increasing opportunities for our community to visit the lighthouse complex while being constantly vigilant of the security requirements of this active military installation, and ever mindful of the strategically important space launch operations ongoing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, is critical to our mission objective. In January, the KSC Visitors Center, operated by Delaware North, Inc., will begin offering a new “Cape Canaveral Rise to Space” weekly bus tour which will depart from KSC and include a stop at Cape Canaveral Lighthouse. We also hope to build upon the demonstrated success of Canaveral Tours, operated by Shelley and Gerry Parker, which joined the Foundation family in 2018 and have been instrumental in helping us improve our guests’ experiences.

Events: Of course, nothing brings our Space Coast history alive quite like a lighthouse event and this year we aim to have many. In addition to our annual celebrations for members, docents and descendants, we will continue to participate in community events and promote our Speaker’s Bureau program. To that end, our Board of Directors will meet on January 25 for an Operations Workshop to review planned events and discuss fundraising opportunities for the coming year, such as an evening “Sunset Under the Lighthouse” cruise aboard a local commercial charter vessel.

Indeed, our course for 2020 is set. I thank you all in advance for your continued support of the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation. I look forward to seeing you at our light!

Happy New Year!

Jim

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