Historian, filmmaker, and author Kevin Duffus captivated the audience at a recent American Lighthouse Foundation fundraiser held on the Rhode Island Massachusetts border this past May.
Duffus told the amazing story of how he solved one of the biggest lighthouse mysteries of all time when he found the missing first order Cape Hatteras Fresnel lens, which had been lost since the Civil War.
He even brought with him a section of the glass prism and part of the brass framework that held the lens to show the crowd. Naturally, nearly everyone in attendance bought and had him autograph his book, The Lost Light.
Tim Harrison, president of the American Lighthouse Foundation, said this was by far the most financially successful fundraiser the group had ever held. “ I could not believe the generosity of people, in the purchasing of raffle tickets, the silent and public auctions and the outright donations.”
The weekend event raised money to purchase an “AERO” lens, equivalent to a 3rd order Fresnel lens for the foundation’s Museum of Lighthouse History, money to complete the Race Point Lighthouse solarization project, money toward the Dutch Island restoration and funds for the general operating account of the American Lighthouse Foundation.
The first ever American Lighthouse Foundation’s Len Hadley Volunteerism Awards were presented to Judi Kearney of Pennsylvania for her work on the ALF E-Bay auction site and her donation of artifacts to the museum and to Lee Leighton who volunteers 30 hours per week mailing out membership kits and merchandise from the ALF on line store.
The weekend also saw the first time that one of the ALF chapters presented another ALF chapter with an award, when the Avery Point chapter presented a plaque and a special thank you to the Cape Cod chapter for a $25,000 donation toward the restoration of Avery Point Lighthouse. The money from the Cape Cod chapter came from money raised from overnight stays at Race Point Lighthouse on Cape Cod, which is managed by the volunteers of the Cape Cod Chapter of ALF.
This story appeared in the
July 2003 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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