The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association (GLLKA) is offering one of the most unique fund raising raffle items ever offered in lighthouse preservation history.
The winner of the raffle will get an extremely rare opportunity to ride an elevator to the top of the world famous Mackinac Bridge, 550 feet above lake level, for the most spectacular view offered anywhere on the Great Lakes, a view that very few people will ever be allowed to experience.
The five mile long Mackinac Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world, and in one way or another, over 11,000 people were involved in its construction. Since the bridge opened for traffic in November of 1957 well over 100 million people have crossed the super structure. We would estimate that well over 80% of the people who have visited the magnificent lighthouses in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have done so by crossing the bridge.
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association currently owns two lighthouses in the Straits of Mackinac; the St. Helena Island lighthouse, which they have been restoring with the assistance of Boy Scouts and youth groups since 1985; and the Cheboygan River Front Range light, which they have owned since 2004. Additionally, the group serves in partnership with St. James Township on Beaver Island in their restoration of the St. James Harbor Lighthouse, and with Emmet County in their restoration of the McGulpin Point Lighthouse, which the county purchased in 2008, and with GLLKA’s assistance, relighted as a Private Aid to Navigation on May 30, 2009.
According to GLLKA Executive Director Terry Pepper, “The costs associated with such undertakings are daunting. Since 1985 we have already invested approximately $1.5 million in our work at the St. Helena Island Lighthouse, and estimate that our restoration of the Cheboygan River Front Range light will end up being close to $500,000. Clearly, that is not the type of money a non-profit such as ours has languishing in its bank account.”
Tickets are available for $5.00 each, or five tickets can be purchased for $20.00. After the winning ticket is drawn at GLLKA’s office on March 31, 2010, the winner will receive their certificate for the climb, along with instructions on how to contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority to arrange a mutually agreeable date for them to take their ride up the elevator to the deck at the top of the tower.
For more information on how to purchase tickets call the GLLKA office at 231-436-5580 or visit www.gllka.com/bridgeraffle.
This story appeared in the
Jan/Feb 2010 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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