Metropolis, Illinois, known around the world as the official hometown of Superman, with the publics help, will soon also be home to a new lighthouse called "Hope Light.," that will help in communicating cancer awareness information and serve as a national beacon of hope for cancer patents, survivors and their families and friends.
Since DC Comics officially declared the Metropolis, Illinois the hometown of Superman, on January 21, 1972, tourists from around the world have arrived to view their Superman statue, visit the Superman Museum and attend annual celebrations honoring the fictional comic book hero. In fact, the local newspaper is named the Metropolis Planet, after the fictional Daily Planet where Clark Kent works as a mild mannered reporter in between his stints as Superman. As a point of interest, for those who think that Smallville is supposed to be Superman’s hometown, the experts state that Smallville is actually the hometown of Clark Kent a/k/a Superboy. It wasn’t until Kent moved to Metropolis that Superman came into existence, which makes Metropolis, Superman’s hometown.
Rudy and Bev Bess, who are the driving force in having the lighthouse built in Metropolis, have visited and photographed over 400 lighthouses. The idea for the project came after the deaths of a friend and a cousin who died on the same day. Bev is also a cancer survivor herself. The couple felt that since lighthouses have tremendous appeal because of their historical significance and since they were built to save lives that it made perfect sense to have a guiding lighthouse to be built as a symbol for cancer patients looking for hope.
Thanks to the ‘Super People" in the city of Metropolis the couple have had tremendous help in fundraising for the beacon and help for the community to communicate cancer awareness for the Hope Light Cancer Corner in the Metropolis Public Library that people will be led to from the lighthouse, once it is built.
The Hope Light will be built at the entrance to the Dorothy Miller Park on the banks of the Ohio River adjacent to Harrah’s Metropolis Casino and seven story hotel. The site will have walkways and kiosk with cancer awareness information and directions to the nearby Metropolis Library, which will host the nation’s first "Hope Light Cancer Corner."
The lighthouse will consist of a 38-foot tall white conical shaped tower with a 30-inch high teal daymark band at the bottom of the catwalk and the flashing white light will be a private aid to navigation. The teal band will represent the fight against ovarian cancer.
The site will provide a quiet and peaceful environment to allow individuals to stop and rest in the many park benches to meditate and view the riverboat traffic and tugboats working with the barges adjacent to the site.
The land for the site was donated free of charge by the city and the design of the lighthouse and the site was done free of charge by Eggemeyer Associates Architects of Carbondale, Illinois.
To help finance the project, the group is selling personalized bricks that will be placed in the walkways around the tower as shown in the architectural drawing. Cost of the bricks are $35.00 each and can be personalized up to three lines of 12 letters per line.
Lighthouse Digest will be purchasing a brick and we would encourage our readers, whom are able, to join us in this well deserving project to help draw early cancer detection, which in turn could save many lives.
As well as being famous for Superman, Metropolis Illinois can, with your help, soon, also be famous as the home of the "Hope Light."
Additional information can be found on-line at www.HopeLightMetropolis.com or at www.HopeLightProject.com.
This story appeared in the
July 2009 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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