Marv Theut got a big surprise at the recent Keeper’s Dinner at the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival when he was awarded the highest award the American Lighthouse Foundation gives.
Theut was presented with the foundation’s “Keeper of the Light” award for his confounding of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, which will now be going into its seventh year.
Lynn Marvin who co founded the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival along with Theut was also awarded the “Keeper of the Light” award posthumously. Lynn was known in lighthouse circles as the Red Baron of Lighthouses because of his great aerial photography, a tradition now being continued by his son.
Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, who presented the awards, said that the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, the biggest event of its kind in the nation, has done more to draw attention to lighthouses than any other event in the nation.
Harrison praised Theut for his tireless effort and total dedication to saving the history and heritage of Great Lakes lighthouses. He went on to say how the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival has given thousands of dollars to various Great Lakes lighthouses that otherwise would not have the extra cash for various projects. Harrison also praised Theut for the founding of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival Lighthouse Museum to save many of the maritime artifacts of the area.
Harrison went on to say, “I realize that Marv does not like to receive awards and that he will say the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival’s success is because of the many volunteers who make it possible. However, it is important to remember that an event like this can not be successful without a good leader at the helm, and Marv Theut is that leader.”
On the behalf of the American Lighthouse Foundation, Harrison also present Marv with a check in the amount of $2,500.00 to the Middle Island Lighthouse Lightkeepers Association for the ongoing restoration of the Middle Island Lighthouse, which Theut is also founder of.
Harrison went on to say that he hopes that someday the city of Alpena and the State of Michigan will also recognize Theut’s efforts, saying, “The Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival draws thousands of people to Michigan and especially this part of Michigan who might not otherwise of come here. Not only do these people visit the lighthouses, they stay in area hotels, eat in the restaurants, stop at the gas stations and visit other historic sites. While doing so, they bring tourism dollars into Michigan, thanks to a highly successful and well organized Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival.”
This story appeared in the
December 2002 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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