When is the time to write a check? For the Gasparilla Light project, that time is right now

■ STAFF REPORT     rangelight

Sharon McKenzie, Executive Director for the Barrier Island Parks Society, has announced that the signing of the final license to acquire the Gasparilla Island Light is on track for April 1. McKenzie said her contacts at the Coast Guard told her this week that they were confident there would be no real issues that would delay the process.

“They have asked for copies of our liability insurance, so we know we are close,” she said. “My staff and I, along with our Development Committee, have also been very busy trying to get our fundraising efforts underway.” McKenzie said they have currently raised almost $115,000, and they just received a commitment for another $25,000 that is expected any day. Grants are currently being submitted by BIPS totaling more than $168,000, and McKenzie said they hope to find even more resources in the future.

McKenzie has been the Executive Director for BIPS for 10 years. She currently sits on the BIPS and the Florida Lighthouse Association boards of directors. FLA is “extremely supportive” of the project, she said, and she hopes to approach them for funding at their next board meeting in May. “We know it is a tough year to ask for donations, but we feel confident our wonderful community will pull through like it always has,” she said. “And for those people who have been asking us when it will be time to write a check, the time is now!”

BIPS asked that donations be sent to P.O. Box 654, Boca Grande, Florida 33921. For stock donations or more information, please contact Sharon McKenzie at 964-0060 or smckenziebips@gmail.com. n Photo above supplied by the Coast Guard, taken in 1958.