www.mybaycity.com May 16, 2004
Rotary Article 431

Trip to Niger, West Africa, in Rotary's PolioPlus Campaign on Tap Tuesday

Nancy Cusick to Tell of African Adventures While Helping Immunize Children

May 16, 2004
By: Dave Rogers

Judy Burkhardt and Judy Valentine of the Pt. Aux Barques Lighthouse Society joke with two Rotarians about lighthouses, Alan Mayes of Red Lobster and Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Weenink, who has stayed in lighthouses on the West Coast.
PolioPlus immunization in India with help from Rotary International through the RI Foundation.

This week's program: Nancy Cusick on the PolioPlus trip to Niger, West Africa.

Next week, May 25, Jerry Swallow, Michigan Sports Unlimited, adaptive sports and recreation for individuals with disabilities.

Rotary Golf Outing, Monday, June 7 at the Bay City Country Club; registration 11:30 a.m., shotgun start 12:30 p.m. Contact Brian Kay, 894-3838 or Jeff Yantz at yantz@chartermi.net.

           This week's program at the Bay City Rotary Club will feature Nancy Cusick and Anne Trahan on Nancy's trip to Niger, West Africa, as part of the Rotary International campaign against polio.

      The Rotary International website states:

      "In 1985, Rotary launched the PolioPlus programto protect children worldwide from the cruel and fatal consequences of polio. In 1988, the World Health Assembly challenged the world to eradicate polio. Since that time, Rotary's efforts and those of partner agencies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations

Children's Fund, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governments around the world, have achieved a 99 percent reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide. Rotarians stand at the brink of agreat victory and look forward to celebrating the global eradication of polio in 2005, the organization's centennial year."

      Last week Judy Burkhardt and Judy Valentine of the Pt. Aux Barques Lighthouse Society told of plans to restore the 1857 lighthouse and nearby lifesaving station, located off M-25 six miles north of Port Hope at the tip of Michigan's Thumb.

      The society, formed just a year and a half ago, is seeking grants to restore the building to the 1890-1920 era. Amazingly, some of the original cedar shingles were found and will be used to restore the roofing. The original shutters from 1878 also were found and replicas were made.

      The lighthouse is 89 feet high and has 103 cast iron steps that wind to the watch room in the tower. The flashing light was automated in 1957, when the 110 year manned period ended.

      Two museums will be created, the first featuring information about shipwrecks and the second a keeper's museum featuring information about lighthouse keepers and their families through the years.

      The first keeper was Peter Shook, who served in the original lighthouse in 1847. Peter and a doctor drowned while leaving the lighthouse in a storm after the doctor had treated Peter's wife, Catherine. She then took over as keeper 1849-51.

      The shipwreck museum will feature the Dunderburg, a schooner barge that sunk in 155 feet of water in Lake Huron near the tip of the Thumb. The ship is well preserved including its intricate scrollwork and ornate platypus figurehead.

      Western Michigan University has conducted an archeological dig on the site and discovered the original foundation of the lighthouse and a dwelling. Another dig is planned for 2005 to expose the foundation and seek more artifacts.

      The society will host "Heritage Days" at the lighthouse on Aug. 14-15, including a talk by Dennis Hale, lone survivor of the 1966 sinking of the SS Daniel J. Morrell and Civil War encampment by Union and Confederate re-enactors.

      The lighthouse is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Information may be obtained from the website: www.pointeauxbarqueslighthouse.org.###

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