August 1, 2008

Your vote could help in the restoration of Bodie Island Lighthouse

You can celebrate National Lighthouse Day on Aug. 7 by casting a vote to help get funds to restore the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Bodie Island Lighthouse.

The Bodie Island Lighthouse is one of the finalists competing for funding through the JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative.  The winner of the competition will receive new JELD-WEN windows and doors, and Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s management is encouraging that locals and visitors consider voting online.

Forty-nine lighthouses in the nation were nominated for this year’s competition, and Bodie Island was named one of 12 finalists in the late spring.  If voted the winner, the Bodie Island Lighthouse would receive eight new windows and a door.

“This replacement effort would be a much needed boost to critical aspects of the Lighthouse, which are in need of repairs,” the Park Service noted in a media release.

For years, lighthouses have been considered “America’s castles,” according the
Web site of the JELD-WEN, a company based in Oregon that makes windows and doors

“Dotting the coastlines and attracting thousands of visitors, they stand as beacons for the sense of adventure and discovery deeply ingrained in American heritage,” the Web site notes. “Experts and enthusiasts agree that there’s something compelling and irresistible about these ghostly towers, with their sea-bearing secrets and distinctive architecture that contrasts starkly against dramatic coastal backdrops.”
In 2005, JELD-WEN launched an initiative to help lighthouses in need with two specific goals in mind -- utilize windows and doors to help protect the well-being of these buildings by incorporating the latest technology and maintain or enhance their beauty by bringing back architectural integrity.

As of July 29, according to a company media release, more than 350,000 votes had been cast.  Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Michigan was in first place with 36 percent of the vote.  Bodie Island Light Station and New Canal Lighthouse in Louisiana were close behind with about 20 percent each.

More information on the competition and instructions on voting are in this Press Release from JELD-WEN, dated July 29. Votes must be cast by Sept. 7, and the contest officials are also accepting photos and video to gauge community support.

Lighthouse Lovers Rally in Force to Help Pick a JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Winner

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. July 29, 2008 — Just in time for National Lighthouse Day on Aug. 7, the hotly contested race to find this year’s most reliable lighthouse is attracting hundreds of thousands of votes from fans and lighthouse communities throughout the nation.
A field of 12 deserving finalists selected for the JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative has so far generated an impressive 350,000 online votes, with early indications of three clear public favorites. With about a month to go until polls close Sept. 7, Grand Traverse Lighthouse in Michigan, Bodie Island Light Station in North Carolina and New Canal Lighthouse in Louisiana are in a tight race for the top vote: Grand Traverse with 36 percent of the votes and Bodie Island and New Canal trailing closely behind with 20 percent each. Ohio’s Toledo Harbor Lighthouse is also a strong contender.
“The outpouring of support that people have shown for their favorite lighthouses is amazing,” said Lynne Butterworth, lighthouse project manager for JELD-WEN, a leading global window and door manufacturer. “Although public voting is only one factor in the decision for selecting the winning lighthouse, these results are a strong indicator of how people have rallied behind JELD-WEN’s initiative to help restore these historic landmarks.”
According to Butterworth, the enthusiasm generated by all 12 finalists is natural, given the history, character and the special place these buildings hold within their communities. Candidates this year include a lighthouse that battled the brutal elements of Hurricane Katrina and another where a “phantom” lighthouse keeper is rumored to be in residence. This year’s finalists also range in age from a lighthouse that is 181 years old to the “youngest” at 100 years old. For most, resources are scarce to provide the care and restoration that are greatly needed. Photos and other interesting facts about the finalists are provided below.
“It’s fantastic that JELD-WEN is leading this type of initiative,” said Henry Gonzalez, vice president of the United States Lighthouse Society and manager of Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, a previous winner. “Architecturally and historically, these are all special places. They are all deserving. It’s very gratifying to see so many people step up, voice their support and show how much they care about what happens to lighthouses in their communities.”

The countdown begins for voting

Midway through the public voting process, the race for the most reliable lighthouse is far from over. The opportunity is still open for any one of the 12 finalists to become the people’s choice. Before naming the winner, JELD-WEN’s judging panel will also consider need, overall restoration program, and other factors. In the end, the top choice will receive new, reliable, custom windows and doors from JELD-WEN to help restore the architectural integrity and provide the latest protection against the brutal weather conditions that lighthouses endure.

To learn more about the finalists and cast a vote, visit by Sept. 7. Each person may cast one vote throughout the full duration of the initiative. Photos and videos of the lighthouse finalists are also being accepted to help JELD-WEN gauge community support. Photos can be shared on the Flickr group of the JELD-WEN Reliable Lighthouse Restoration Initiative. To share videos that will be posted online, please send 1-2 minute VHS tapes, DVDs or electronic viewing files to:


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