As we kick off 2015, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum reflects on its community impact over the last year and its plans to continue support in St. Augustine’s pivotal 450th year.
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL. – Although it’s known for being a famous fixture in the city skyline, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum provides more for the local community than just aesthetic appeal. In 2014, the museum contributed nearly $250,000 in in-kind gifts, donations and discounts to organizations in St. Augustine. From assisting other nonprofit organizations to supporting local businesses, the museum, its staff, volunteers and board members take pride in giving back to the community.
“As a nonprofit museum, we not only serve to educate our guests about the great maritime history of St. Augustine, we also work hard to ensure that our resources are put right back into the local community,” said Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming. “Giving back is something that runs deep in our roots, going back to the Junior Service League, and the work that just 16 volunteers from the JSL did to restore the light station. It was a family and a community effort in a very real way.”
Although the museum is a private non-profit, it still shares close ties with the JSL and supports several of the group’s other projects including the Children’s Museum and Kids Bridge. In 2014, the lighthouse also donated time, funds or other resources to the St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation, Friends of Anastasia State Park, The Boys and Girls Club, Friends of Scenic A1A, Sea Turtles Hospital, Lightner Museum, Osceola Elementary, St. Joseph Academy, St. Augustine Youth Services and many other organizations throughout Northeast Florida.
The museum also partnered with the St. Johns County Education Foundation this past year to enhance its annual summer camp program. Over 80 scholarships were offered to underprivileged students in St. Johns County for the museum’s summer and winter camps. The scholarships were funded largely by the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation, Sertoma Club of St. Augustine’s Steve Senecal Scholarship Fund and the Barbara A. Kay Foundation.
Support from the local community also helped the lighthouse bring nearly $950,000 in federal and state grants and appropriations to St. Augustine. These funds will provide for new research and educational programs to help preserve the city’s historic legacy.
“Historic preservationists are much more likely to hire locally or regionally, and being a good investment for state funding means creating jobs not just on our own site, but in the local businesses around us,” said Fleming. “Going into this pivotal year for the City’s 450th celebration, we are looking forward to strengthening our community ties and channeling our resources into helping St. Augustine and its residents enjoy this town that we all love.”
ABOUT THE ST. AUGUSTINE LIGHTHOUSE & MUSEUM:
A pivotal navigation tool and unique landmark of St. Augustine for over 140 years, the St. Augustine Light Station is host to centuries of history in the Nation’s Oldest Port. Through interactive exhibits, guided tours and maritime research, the 501(c)3 non-profit St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is on a mission to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port sm as symbolized by our working lighthouse. We are the parent organization to the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.