Annual Lighthouse Party

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Anticipation builds as the 31st annual Signing of the Lease Party at Sea Girt Lighthouse fast approaches. Lighthouse trustees and other volunteers are making final preparations for the party to be held Saturday, August 6, from 6-8 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, August 7.

The annual gathering on the north lawn, considered by many to be Sea Girt’s social event of the summer, is once again hosted by the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee, Inc., the non-profit, volunteer organization responsible for the lighthouse. This is the committee’s only fundraiser of the year – with all proceeds going to maintaining and operating the 115-year-old landmark.

Festive Lights, Cool Breezes

Sea glass is this year’s theme and will be reflected in the colorful decorations. There are to be several new features, including festive lighting and fans under the tents to circulate the cool ocean breezes.

Carol Ann McLaughlin, who catered the first Signing of the Lease Party and most every party since, returns. She will offer a selection of seafood, steak, vegetable and cheese hors d’oeuvres, served by her capable wait staff dressed in their pastel polo shirts. There will be three open bars. Live music will be provided. There will be a 50-50 drawing.

Invitation Extended

“I invite our neighbors to join us for an enjoyable evening among friends against the backdrop of our beloved lighthouse,” said Jerry Hayward, SGLCC president. “We come together to celebrate what we have and to support the continuing efforts to preserve this historic treasure. Preservation is a collaborative effort.”

Trustee Lauren Behre is chairing the event. The assistant chair is trustee Bill Mountford. Their fellow trustees and numerous members will be pitching in, taking up various assignments in the remaining days and on party day.

Signing the Lease

The Signing of the Lease Party takes its name from the first gathering in 1981 when the volunteers who formed the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens to “save our lighthouse” came together one summer evening to mark the signing of a lease with the Borough whereby the committee took financial responsibility for maintenance and operation of the lighthouse.

The building, owned by the Borough, was then in need of extensive repairs after more than two decades of use as the children’s library and recreation center. The Borough considered selling the property, which likely would have led to the demolition of the lighthouse.

The party was a celebration of the volunteers’ success in preserving the landmark, a thank-you to supporters, an opportunity to cherish what they had saved and a reminder that the effort never ends. And the tradition continues.

Ticket Information

The early ticket sales are encouraging. “We are expecting a strong turnout,” said Mr. Hayward. “I would encourage all planning to attend to get their tickets early. Don’t miss out.” Tickets are available by advance purchase only. They will not be sold at the door.

Tickets are limited and cost $55 per person, unchanged from last year. They may be purchased by sending a check to the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee, Inc., P.O. Box 83, Sea Girt, NJ 08750. For further information, call the lighthouse, 732-974-0514.

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