Light Hearted

Light Hearted ep 224 – Wayne Sapulski, Michele and Mark VanderVelde (Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association)

St. Helena Island Light Station, Michigan, courtesy of GLLKA
Michele and Mark VanderVelde at St. Helena Island. Courtesy of Michele and Mark VanderVelde.

The idea for the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, or GLLKA, was born at a gathering back in 1981 at Grosse Point Lighthouse in Illinois, and in the following year the first informal meeting was held in Michigan. The organization was officially launched in 1983 and it’s going strong 40 years later, remaining dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Great Lakes lighthouses. Since 1986, GLLKA has cared for the St. Helena Island Light Station on Lake Michigan, and volunteers carry out a variety of preservation projects.  GLLKA also cares for the Cheboygan River Front Range Light.

Wayne Sapulski with a miniature version of the Point Iroquois Light Station in Michigan. Courtesy of Wayne Sapulski.

There are three guests in this episode. Wayne Sapulski is a Great Lakes lighthouse historian, author, and photographer, and a tireless volunteer for GLLKA. He’s also the author of two books and many articles on Great Lakes lighthouses. One of Wayne’s claims to fame is that he has physically visited all 360 lighthouses on the Great Lakes, on both the U.S. and Canadian sides.

Mark and Michele VanderVelde have been involved with St. Helena Island Light Station as volunteers for well over 20 years. In 2019, Mark and Michele received the Richard L. Moehl Award for Excellence in Volunteerism for the countless hours they have contributed in support of GLLKA activities. Wayne Sapulski also received the same award that year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.