The Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses will use comedy to help raise funds for preservation and upkeep of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse in Newport.
The group will host Laughs for Lighthouses, a comedy show and carnival, at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Newport Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $20. One child gets in free with an adult; additional children are $5 each. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 541-265-ARTS, or online at www.coastarts.org.
Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses Executive Director Lauren Craven said both lighthouses require routine maintenance every year, such as basic cleaning, interior painting, mold/mildew treatment and minor repairs.
“The larger items of maintaining a lighthouse come with the critical structural integrity issues involving conditions of the brick column, proper drainage and gutters, exterior metal work, lens preservation and iron staircase stability,” she said. “The maintenance, preservation and restoring issues can cost well over $100,000 and are often hard to keep up with as government budgets decrease and issues go overlooked or unfunded.”
Craven said she hopes the event will raise $12,000. Friends of Yaquina Head Lighthouses is funding a $24,000 restoration and maintenance plan to supply a "blueprint" of what the current condition is and what needs to be done periodically to keep the lighthouses in good condition.
Through the plan, the group hopes to write detailed and successful grants for funding and to better authentically preserve the lighthouse and maintain its National Register of Historic Buildings designation.
“If we do not maintain and preserve the lighthouses, then they will eventually deteriorate to the point of no return,” Craven said. “This means the buildings will be closed to the public, as many lighthouses are, and even worse, they will someday crumble and irreplaceable pieces of history will be lost.”
Craven calls lighthouses icons of coastal history and culture, in addition to being tourism attractions.
“Not only do they provide a boost to local economies and picturesque landscapes, but they enrich the lives of the community residents,” she said. “It's not just enough to maintain the lighthouses as buildings. We continually try to maintain their connections with the visitors and develop emotional connections and values of stewardship in the next generation. In order to make sure the buildings remain intact for future generations, we must pass on the history and the values to them so they have the same compelling reason to protect these priceless places.”
For more information, contact Craven at 541-574-3129.