Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lighthouse Raffle

An article which appeared in the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) Herald News this past Tuesday (July 17), caught the eye of many of us here. It's a great idea, I think, and I'd like to pass it on.
This past April, Cape Neddick Lighthouse in Maine, (most know it as just "Nubble"), had substantial damage done to its grounds due to a very powerful Nor'Easter. Estimates have come in as high as two million dollars worth of damage done to the island which supports the lighthouse. As is the case with most municipal coffers these days, there isn't enough money in the town of York's budget to make all of the repairs needed.
The Sohier Park Committee, (Nubble is part of Sohier Park), and the York Park and Recreations Department, (which oversees the lighthouse), have come up with a unique solution to raise $100,000, which would help toward making safety improvements on the island and pay for some of the much needed improvements. Their idea is to run a raffle.
Basically, the raffle would work like this;
1,000 tickets would be sold at $100 apiece. The only prize? One winner gets to stay in the keeper's quarters of the lighthouse for one full week.
Sounds great, doesn't it?
There are a few glitches, however. First of all, the town Selectmen must approve the plan, (they seem to be rather positively in favor of it, as long as there are no problems with insurance matters). Secondly, the keeper's house needs some major upgrades, ("bathroom issues" and running water were high on the priority list). The Park Commissioners feel, however, that the money raised last year from Nubble's Gift Shop, (approx. $138,000), could be used toward those improvements.
If all goes well, raffle tickets will go on sale in 2008, and the winner will be able to spend his/her week at the lighthouse in the summer of 2009. ( My question to the committee, if I win, can I bring a friend? or two or three?)
My guess is that if the raffle does come off and turns out to be a rousing success, it would probably be a regular annual event, (my hope is that, at least).
I, for one, will be keeping a close eye out for the town's decision, and if/when the tickets go on sale, I plan to be near the front of the line!

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