At its volunteer appreciation dinner held last December 12, the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City, New Jersey, announced that Daniel Heneghan was honored as its Volunteer of the Year for 2021.
“Dan is a great asset for the Absecon Lighthouse,” said Jean Muchanic, Executive Director of the lighthouse. “He spends several hundred hours here a year telling visitors all about the lighthouse, the city and about lighthouses generally.”
The Absecon Lighthouse is New Jersey’s tallest light and is the third tallest masonry lighthouse in the United States. It was first lit on January 15, 1857, and is the oldest structure in Atlantic City.
“An organization like ours relies heavily on the work of volunteers. Dan is one of a group of dedicated people who donate their time and their talents to help maintain and preserve this historical treasure so it can be enjoyed today and for generations to come. We couldn’t do it without them,” Muchanic said
Heneghan’s job as a volunteer at the lighthouse is to greet climbers when they reach the top, tell them about the light and answer any questions. He brings along a book of photos he has taken of lighthouses that he and his wife Cathy have visited. But Muchanic said his contribution to the lighthouse goes far beyond his once-a-week shift at the top. He helps with special events, including the annual Lighthouse Challenge, decorating the lighthouse for the holidays, cleaning the Fresnel lens and many other projects. While he has been a volunteer for just over three years since he retired, Heneghan started climbing the lighthouse for exercise almost 10 years ago and now climbs more than three times a week.
“If you are the first climber on a day when he is working, or happen to be there when Dan comes in just to climb, you are in for a treat because Dan gives climbers a guided tour up the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse,” said Milton Glenn, Operations and Education Coordinator.
This story appeared in the
Mar/Apr 2022 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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