No, it's not a sexy leg lamp, like Ralphie's father won in "The Christmas Story." It's even better--the "Golden Lighthouse Award," a "coveted honor," according to Julie Pigot, coordinator for the Washington Lighthouse License Plate Committee.
Washington's lighthouse license plate generates about $25K a year in sales that go toward lighthouse/lightship preservation. The grants have enabled 501c3 lighthouse groups in Washington to replace roofs, windows, doors, porches, and more; it's helped with infrastructure like plumbing, septic, and electrical work. And it's funded a few education projects, such as replica U.S. Lighthouse Establishment traveling libraries.
Skip Sherwood took this shot of me am proudly showing off my Golden Lighthouse and a bouquet of flowers the committee presented to me at the November meeting at the Coast Guard Museum NW, my last meeting before leaving the committee to do other worthy work in the lighthouse community. It was all very tongue-in-cheek and fun, but I was pleased, as you can see by my smile/smirk/chuckle expression. Julie confided that she hand-painted the lighthouse herself!
The Washington lighthouse license plate was the brainstorm of Gloria Wahlin and Lighthouse Environmental Programs of Admiralty Head Lighthouse, located on Whidbey Island, Washington. I helped Gloria from the outset with writing and editing the 501c3 application for the grants generated by the license plate and presenting informational programs to the eligible lighthouse groups. I went to Olympia for the unveiling of the plate in January 2006 (I have plate number 12!), and I have served on the grants committee since its inception.
It's a fun group--Julie Pigot and Linda Crow from Admiralty Head Lighthouse and Lighthouse Environmental Programs, architect Gene Grulich--who specializes in rehabilitation of old buildings--and Capt. Gene Davis, Retired, curator of the Coast Guard Museum Northwest. The meetings have been fun and productive. Since 2006 we've awarded more than $150K to eligible lighthouses in Washington and to the state's lightship, Swiftsure.
Skip Sherwood of the U.S. Lighthouse Society will replace me on the committee. Meanwhile, I am moving on to a board position with the U.S. Lighthouse Society where I'll be focusing primarily on education and developing a youth following.
I am thankful to the committee, to the LEP, and especially to Julie Pigot for her cheerful and well-accomplished work as coordinator of the grants committee.
And, I love my Golden Lighthouse Award!!!