2007 NELL’S Year in Review
The calendar says
the New Year starts on January 1, but for NELL members it’s not official
until LHHC&Y. So, on Friday January 12th, the New Year became official
with NELL members headed to Massachusetts for our annual members only, Lighthouses Hot Chocolate & You. This year
would be a little different than past years as members headed for the
lights of Cape Cod in what would be NELL’S first weekend long LHHC&Y.
We stayed at the Four Points Hotel, by Sheraton, in Eastham, MA, Friday and Saturday
nights, starting our hot chocolate adventure in, what else, but the cold
and rain at Chatham Light. From there, we went to the Three Sisters of
Nauset, and then made the short walk to Nauset Light. After climbing the
tower at Nauset we broke for our box lunch.
Arriving at Highland
Light, we were treated to hot chocolate and home made baked goods as we
leisurely climbed the tower. Before leaving, we took our group picture
and then headed to see Chris and Marie Alex who opened their store,
Collectors World, for NELL members only.
After Sunday morning breakfast, the majority of us headed to Race Point Light. There we saw
the new wind turbine that would supply electricity to the keepers’ house
and the whistle house, along with the improvements that were made to the
whistle house. As some folks climbed the tower, others purchased Race
Point souvenirs while the rest of us enjoyed some hot chocolate and home
made cookies provided by the volunteers of Race Point Light. While some
of us headed for home after visiting Race Point, many of us stopped at
the Coast Guard Heritage Museum located at 3353 Main Street, in Barnstable Village, which was also opened just for
us by NELL members and volunteer curators Doug Bingham and Bill
A NELL Project HOPE took place the weekend of March 31 & April 1; destination, Wood End
Light and Race Point Light (if time allowed). On Friday, March 30th, 12 members of NELL (some seasoned HOPE
members and some not) slept at Race Point Light in anticipation of
sprucing up Wood End Light. Fate was good, letting us finish the
painting of both the lighthouse and oil house in one day. After a good
nights sleep, we were able to get some painting done at Race Point Light
before departing for home.
On June 8, 2007, with winter but a recent memory and spring in bloom, 76 members boarded
the M.V. Monhegan for NELL’S first dinner cruise. The next day, 105
lighthouse enthusiasts boarded the M.V. Monhegan for a lighthouse cruise
to Monhegan Island with “photo-stops” at 4 other
lighthouses. Jeremy D’Entremont did the narrating accompanied by some
story telling by Retired Lighthouse Keeper Ernie DeRaps.
Sunday, the semi-annual NELL meeting was held at the Top of the Rock in the Trade
Winds Hotel. All the new NELL members that were in attendance stood up
and introduced themselves giving a short bio. President, Tom Pregman presented
a Harbour Lights replica to Janet Garcia for being the newest member
that traveled the farthest – from her home state of Hawaii. The announcement was made about
NELL’S fundraising raffle and our new Merchandise Co-chairs, John and Nancy
Satkowski also sold NELL merchandise. At the close of the meeting, Tom
Pregman submitted his resignation.
Mid year brought about many changes in the make up of the NELL Board of Directors along
with members traveling to various parts of the world; Las Vegas, Hawaii,
Japan, Aruba, and more locally, trips in and around New England. The
various Lighthouse Challenges were also visited by a good contingent
The fall brought about a NELL milestone we can all be proud of. In less than ten years,
NELL has donated over $100,000.00 to various Lighthouse preservation
groups and museums.
October 13th & 14th was time for our Fall Meeting and cruise of the Upper Hudson River
Lighthouses. Due to the safety regulations of the boat, this trip was limited to 85 participants
and was for members only. We stayed at the Howard Johnsons Inn in Saugerties, NY and Saturday morning we arrived at the
Spirit of the Hudson which was docked at the Hudson Marina. Our first stop was at Hudson
Athens Light and from there we continued south to Saugerties Light, Kingston – Roundout and then on to Esopus
Meadows where we could just cruise by and then headed north to disembark
at the Kingston Roundout Marina. Boarding the 2 waiting coach buses, we were transported back to
our cars and then drove to the hotel. Sunday we had our meeting and held
our big raffle. Afterward, many members drove south to visit Stony Point
Lighthouse. What started out as a foggy, damp, Saturday morning, ended
up being an absolutely beautiful weekend, enjoyed by all.
November was quiet with the approach of winter. But it was still an exciting month as ALF held its Annual Volunteer
Award Dinner in Woburn, MA. This was the first time it was opened to the
public, so a nor’easter decided to attend, preventing several chapters
and some public from coming. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all. I
was proud to call NELL members Ron Foster and Frank Carbone to the
podium to receive their Len Hadley Volunteerism Award.
Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is right around the corner. 2008 should be an
exciting year for NELL, as we approach our tenth anniversary in November. This January, we are revisiting
NELL’S first LHHC&Y and we’re just about finished planning the spring
trip, which I think you’ll all enjoy. After the holidays, I will be
sending you a notice asking about an idea I have to help kick off our
anniversary. If the majority responds favorably, we will do all we can
to make it happen.
Before I close, I’d like to thank you all for the overwhelming support and encouragement you
gave us, your new Board of Directors. I know I speak for the board when I say that it was,
and is, very much appreciated, and we thank you.
NELL enters 2008
with a proven, strong, cohesive board. This, along with the fantastic
improvements made by ALF in their financial stability and the changes in
their officers and Board of Directors, 2008 promises to be a very good
year for the lighthouse community.
Thank you, and God Bless you all. I wish you
all a very, Safe, Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
For our new members, these complete stories are on the web site