Great Neck Historical Society announces run for Stepping Stones lighthouse

Photo courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead.

The Great Neck Historical Society, partnering with the Town of North Hempstead and the Great Neck Park District, announced its first ever 5K Run for the Stepping Stones Lighthouse, marking another joint effort to help the lighthouse.

The run aims to raise public awareness and money for the Stepping Stones Lighthouse, which officials say needs upwards of $4 million of renovations. It is the historical society’s most ambitious project to date.

Great Neck Historical Society President Alice Kasten, frequently seen with a “Save Stepping Stones Lighthouse” T-shirt, described the effort as one of the organization’s priorities.

“We’re going to continue our focus on the lighthouse [and] the 5K race,” Kasten said in a previous interview.

Currently, the planning of the race is in its early phases, as the historical society is currently searching for race sponsors. But the Oct. 22 date is set.

This development follows a long joint effort by the Great Neck Parks District, Town of North Hempstead and Great Neck Historical Society to raise funds to restore the lighthouse.

Stepping Stones guided sailors through rocky waters since 1877 and once stood majestically over the Long Island Sound. Now the interior is essentially gutted, with many windows, rooms and brickwork needing major repairs.

In the last few months, both the Town of North Hempstead and Great Neck Historical Society sent engineering architects to examine the lighthouse foundations so a dock could be put in. The Town of North Hempstead also allocated $520,000 in its 2017-21 capital plan toward the lighthouse and construction of the dock.

The dock is pivotal because it will be the landing point for construction, equipment and workers. At the moment, one must climb a ladder at high tide tide to reach the lighthouse.

So far the historical society, through its fundraising, has made between $30,000 and $40,000, a small fraction of what’s required to fix the lighthouse.

This is on top of a $165,000 National Park Service grant to the Town of North Hempstead, a $100,000 New York State Assembly grant and a $100,000 grant to the Great Neck Park District.

The run will start and finish at Steppingstone Park in Kings Point, which overlooks the Long Island Sound and lighthouse.

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