In 2000, Catherine Ryan Hyde's novel 'Pay It Foward' was released as a movie with the same name. Set in Las Vegas, Nevada, the main character Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) is challenged by his social studies teacher to develop an idea to better the world. 'Pay It Foward' becomes a connecting theme of charitable good works that moves the story foward. Another work by Jason Wright was released in 2005. Titled 'Christmas Jars', its main character is reporter Hope Jensen, who learns that a mysterious jar of coins and a random act of kindness can affect lives in totally unexpected ways.
Two weeks ago, a random e-mail said "call me". Bob, the Director of The Lake County Visitors Bureau wanted me to call Craig of Maple Ridge Nursery and Discovery Den ( Ravenna Road, Concord Twp). Their idea was to involve the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum in their exhibit at The Great Big Home and Garden Expo this week. One of 650 exhibitors at the IX Center, their garden and LCVB kiosk was to feature our non-profit historical society as its central theme. " Everyone loves a lighthouse" said Craig. A nautical kiosk and garden were born. An initial meeting at the lighthouse was followed by society members approval. A box truck arrived last Thursday afternoon and Craig and I muscled two lyle guns, 9 laminated photo poster boards, and one heavy Steamer Tomlinson porthole display onto a box truck. My back still hurts today. The end result of this endeavour is that of the nearly 100,000 visitors expected at the show, maybe 1-2% will remember the lighthouse display and travel to Fairport this summer. The display is located near the IX Ferris Wheel. Volunteers man the vistor bureau's booth and brochures are available to all Lake County sites. Lake County may be Ohio's smallest county but it is big on history. Our 69 steps to the top of the tower, the museum displays, and the nautical artifacts and stories make for a great visit. Your summer 2012 visit and admission donation fee will save the 1871 site for another generation of visitors. A village bicentennial celebration, two museums, public boat launch and a pristine beach are added bonuses.
Like Trevor in 'Pay It Foward' and Hope in 'Christmas Jars', this random act of kindness by Bob and Craig has affected the volunteer members and the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum in a meaningful way. Their idea, good will and donation of time to our society mission is a gift not soon to be forgotten. Thank you gentlemen!