“We’ve made all of the goals we have set thus far, and we’ll continue to put money in the endowment fund," said the conservancy's president, Dave Karpin.
The City of Grand Haven officially became the owner of the two lighthouses on the south pier last year. The structures were deemed surplus items by the federal government, and the U.S. Coast Guard only needs to access the lighting inside them for navigational purposes.
The city technically owns the two buildings, but the local conservancy group is responsible for preservation and historical interpretation, and the fundraising to pay for it all.
The group's treasurer, Joy Gaasch, said that a significant amount of money has been raised for preservation efforts, with about $400,000 of it already available.
“There’s lots of ways that people have given,” she said. “Are we done yet? No, this is basically the first phase.”
Gaasch said the conservancy raised $114,800 with engraved bricks sold for the project in the summer of 2012. The bricks are currently on display at the base of the pier.
About $11,000 was raised earlier this year in the Run for the Lights fun run, which took participants from downtown Grand Haven to the boardwalk and pier.
Gaasch said the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation kicked off the fund drive with a pledge of $100,000 over a three-year period.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.