SEA GIRT — For more than three decades, the first weekend in August has marked the commemoration of the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee’s signing of a lease with the borough to maintain and preserve the lighthouse.
The coronavirus pandemic, however, put the kibosh on this year’s celebration, which serves as the committee’s sole fundraiser for the Sea Girt Lighthouse.
“We are very disappointed that we are unable to host the lawn party this year, but the trustees felt it was in the best interest to not host the party during the pandemic,” said Jude Meehan, president of the Sea Girt Lighthouse Citizens Committee [SLGCC].
The pandemic also forced the committee to keep the lighthouse closed for the 2020 season, from mid-April until November.
“Due to COVID-19, the trustees did not reopen the lighthouse this past spring and we met just last week and we decided to keep the lighthouse closed,” SLGCC trustee Catherine Schwier, said.
She said the committee felt it was in the best interest of the entire community to keep the lighthouse closed to prevent spread of the coronavirus, especially given the recent spike in cases.
Ms. Schwier added that the committee had to take into consideration the older population that typically visits the lighthouse and the size of the lighthouse, which would make social distancing difficult. It would also become costly to sanitize the lighthouse after each use.
The committee is anticipating that the lighthouse will reopen and events will resume once all safety restrictions are lifted.
Despite the closure, the committee is still planning to host events in 2021 including the Moonlight Climb as well as a keepers night, where the public will be invited to discuss lighthouses, ships and related topics, and take an evening tour.
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