Sharing the mission of lighthouse preservation with the public always makes good business sense given the ever-present need to build upon the successes achieved in restoration, education, volunteerism and fundraising.
The American Lighthouse Foundation and their local chapter, Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, did just that on March 14th during the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Business and Community Expo, which was held at the Samoset Resort in Rockland, Maine.
Striving to connect with new people while reinforcing mission excellence with ongoing community supporters, a contingent of volunteers staffed an exhibit at the business expo designed to share the compelling story of the lights – and the dedicated individuals who help keep them “shining.”
Expo attendees learned about the exciting restoration work that has been achieved locally at lighthouses like Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head over the past few years – and of new projects on tap in 2012 at these sites, as well as at other ALF lights throughout New England.
While at the booth, attendees also learned that Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head lighthouses are open to the public for a one-of-a-kind cultural experience during the summer season and that there is a wealth of opportunities for civic-minded individuals to become involved in when it comes to helping gift the lights to future generations.
The Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo possessed a new approach this year, which saw its focus expand beyond the for-profit industry in the local community. In a press release leading up to the event, the Chamber of Commerce noted, “We’ve added a new section for nonprofits, so in addition to our many great business members who you’ll see, you’ll be able to learn more about programs at our local museums, arts organizations, animal shelters and community programs in topics as varied as sailing, music, health, education, the environment, and more.”
Needless to say, the ‘more’ also included lighthouses!
For lighthouses like Rockland Breakwater and Owls Head are not only alluring and educational sites to visit, they also connect with people in an amazingly profound and meaningful way that spawns a life-long appreciation for these stately sentinels.
This was the inspirational message business expo attendees walked away having heard thanks to the passionate FRHL volunteers who took the time to share the story of the lights and why it is so important to ‘stand a good watch’ in our time for their preservation.
“The business expo was great,” said Eric Davis, chairman of the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights, and newly elected president of the American Lighthouse Foundation. “The event gave us an opportunity to introduce our new chapter name in the public eye while affording us a chance to network with other businesses and nonprofits. The expo also proved to be real nice exposure with the hundreds of people in the community who stopped by our booth to speak with us.”
The American Lighthouse Foundation and the Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights wishes to thank the following volunteers who helped staff the business expo exhibit: Phelps Bristol, Sally Bristol, Eric Davis, Laura Davis, Tricia Dixon, Jeanne Johnson, Donna Ward Smith, Brian Trask, Marilyn Trask and John Young.
Also, thanks goes out to Ann-Marie Trapani, Associate Director of the American Lighthouse Foundation, for her efforts in designing the interpretive graphics and setting up the exhibit.