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Beacon Archive

July 2004
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News from the Townships

AmVets Retire Worn Flags

Long-EZ's return - Burt Rutan-designed experimental aircraft

PABI GroundBreaking

Island Airways Hangar Party

Wildlife Club News

School Election Results

Letters: To the Beaver Island Community

Walleye Pond a Success this Year

The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in!

Thanks to Ed Wojan who orchestrated the event, Islanders get to Skydive from 11,000 ft. at Township Airport

On This Date

Museum Week 2004 Schedule of Events

A Sturdy New Home - Ben Fogg's new Tug Spartacus.

Lighthouse School Graduation

Silent Auction added to Fashion Tea

Phyllis Townsend 1911-2004

Preservationists named Honorary Architects

The Dig Continues - Suttons Bay Anthropology Club

Rich Gillespie will run for Charlevoix County Commissioner

Will there be a New Boat?

BIRHC Grand Opening - A Fine Celebration

One Hundred Years Ago

Art found in Nature - the Wood Sculpture of Bruce Struik

Mary Gallagher 1909-2004

Cecelia Kinney 1911-2004

Emergency Lights Available

New First Responders

Blood Drive; Hospice Needs Summer Caregivers

New Map of Beaver Island


Lighthouse School Graduation
by Sue Marie Papajesk

On May 13th, 2004over 150 people attended the Beaver Island Lighthouse School Graduation Ceremony at the KC Hall in Charlevoix. Celebrants were delighted by the variety of talent that was shared–via poetry, music, and song, including students Chris Edgington and Stefani Wittenmeier.

Ten fortunate seniors received diplomas and 18 others received recognition and awards for completion of the Spring 2004 semester. The seniors were presented with gifts of Beaver Island Sweatshirts and Journals. Many received special recognition for their efforts throughout the semester, and a great feast was had by all.

A few Island residents braved the weather and boated across with the youth to help celebrate. Four students were given scholarships to the Bear River Writers Conference, where authors from around the world conduct workshops. This is the third year the lighthouse youth received these scholarships, and they will be the only high schoolers attending. They were Joe Crowe, Billy Joe Wright, Dan Thiebaut, and Allison Racignol.
John Freeman, Lighthouse visionary and Coordinator for over 27 years, was given a special tribute from Governor Jennifer Granholm, which was read along with letters from Senator Carl Levin, who sat on the ‘Save America's Treasures’ Grant Appropriations Committee, and Bill Cashman, Director of the Beaver Island Historical Society.

“As Governor of Michigan I am pleased to send my appreciation and recognition for your commitment to restore the Beaver Head Lighthouse and the Fog Signal Building,” Granholm said. “As our state and nation moves forward, it is important to remember our past as well. Many historic sites and artifacts remind us of what our society has learned. It allows us to look back at what shaped our way of life today. You have shown a deep commitment to preserving our past and for that I am truly grateful. I also applaud your enthusiasm to include students in the restoration project. Thanks to your endless energy and inspiring passion, these landmarks will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
John was given a silver plaque that reads: In recognition of John Freeman for over 27 years of Vision and Dedication to Beaver Island Lighthouse School, Summer Programs, Beaver Head Light Station and historic Structures Restoration “Saving America's Treasures.”

John also received a photo of the Lighthouse with multiple signatures from friends from over 27 years. The word “Legacy” was used while describing his vision, dedication, and sacrifice on behalf of the historic site and students whose lives have been changed.

“The thing that pleases me most is having students come back throughout the years to visit the Lighthouse with their own children,” John said. “To show them where their lives were changed and how much the program made a difference. That is the greatest joy for me.”

Many from this class will attend the summer employment opportunity at the site. Once again a new generation will be added to the fold.

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