Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse Receives Contribution from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation for Historic Repairs

Posted December 28, 2016

Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse (FOIL) has received a $4,500 contribution from Louis Bacon’s Orton Foundation for repairs to the historic Oak Island Lighthouse.

Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, was created in 2004 to manage the lighthouse, raise maintenance funds and oversee public access. FOIL is a volunteer organization that operates with no Federal, State, or Town funding.

Ruth Smith, Vice Chair, FOIL; Dillon Epp, Property and Wildlife Manager, Orton Plantation Holdings, LLC; and Bob Ahlers, Chair of Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse.

Ruth Smith, Vice Chair, FOIL; Dillon Epp, Property and Wildlife Manager, Orton Plantation Holdings, LLC; and Bob Ahlers, Chair of Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse.

Built in 1957, the Lighthouse was lit for the first time in May 1958. Over the last 60 years wind, sand and salt have aged this iconic landmark. FOIL recently launched the “Keeping Our Light Strong” campaign to raise $100k for needed and significant repairs to the Lighthouse that will allow it to operate for generations to come.

“Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse is fortunate to receive this welcome support from The Orton Foundation as well as many other contributors,” said FOIL Chairman Bob Ahlers. “The generosity of our donors and The Orton Foundation will bolster our efforts to preserve and maintain our historic lighthouse for future generations.”

Each year since 2005, FOIL has conducted tours of the lighthouse, with the first years allowing a few hundred climbers to ascend to the top. Last year FOIL tour guides assisted over 3,500 people in climbing to the top of the Lighthouse. In addition, visitors stop by daily to tour the grounds and take photos of the unique beacon that guards the entrance to the Cape Fear River and warns ships of the dangerous shifting sands of Frying Pan Shoals.

“We are proud to support FOIL in their efforts to repair and maintain the historic Oak Island Lighthouse as an emblem of light and hope at the mouth of the Cape Fear River,” said Ann Colley, Executive Director and Vice President of The Moore Charitable Foundation and its affiliate foundations, including The Orton Foundation.

“Our community takes great pride in the Oak Island Lighthouse,” said Dillon Epp, property manager of Orton Plantation. “FOIL’s important preservation efforts are critical to ensure that its legacy continues.”

FOIL asks all lighthouse enthusiasts, residents, visitors, local businesses and civic organizations to help “keep the light strong” by making a tax deductible donation. Checks can be made to FOIL and mailed to the below address. Significant donors will be recognized on a sign to be prominently displayed in the main level of the lighthouse:
Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse
1100 Caswell Beach RD
Caswell Beach, NC 28465

About Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse
Friends of Oak Island Lighthouse (FOIL) aims to educate the public about the Oak Island Lighthouse and its history, as well as manage the lighthouse, including raising funds for the maintenance of the structure and grounds. FOIL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (EIN 20-2548830).


About The Orton Foundation

The Orton Foundation, the North Carolina affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, focuses on protecting the Cape Fear River Basin’s unique wetlands, lands, forest and wildlife habitats. The Orton Foundation also supports educational and community programs in the region.