- Bill DiPaolo Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Starry skies, boats drifting by on the Jupiter Inlet, live music, tours of the Tindall Pioneer House and dozens of food and drink choices made for a profitable and fun night at the Rendezvous at the Light at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse on Nov. 18.
Almost 600 people paid $75 each to gather on the grounds starting as the sun went down. The night marked this year’s lighting of holiday decorations at the top of the lighthouse.
After $17,000 was added up from a silent auction, the total amount raised was about $60,000, said Jamie Stuve, the chief executive officer and president of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.
“We had so many great volunteers and contributors. It was a magical night,” said Stuve.
The money raised will be used for improvements and maintenance at the museum and lighthouse, a 501 (c)3 organization.
The U.S. Coast Guard owns the lighthouse, which was first lit in 1860. The non-profit Loxahatchee River Historical Society operates the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum.
Visitors to the lighthouse and museum can walk the 104 steps to the top of the lighthouse, take a tour of the museum that was a World War II naval radio station, visit the Tindall Pioneer House and take a hike in the Outstanding Natural Area designated by the Bureau of Land Management.
This year’s crowd and contributions at the third-annual event were the largest ever, said Stuve.
“We were very visible this year. We had our roof restored. We had to board up for the hurricane. We began publishing a newsletter. We’re on people’s radar,” said Stuve.
About 100 local businesses contributed items to be sold.
The AustinBlu Foundation donated a ditch bag, which contained an EPIRB device for boating emergencies and other boating safety equipment. Local artists donated paintings, photographs and other items. Hotels donated weekend getaways. Restaurants donated meal packages, food and beverages.
At the Tindall House, volunteers dressed in period clothing and took visitors on a tour of the two-story wooden building. Originally located a mile up the Loxahatchee River next to the early Pennock Plantation on the south side of the river, the 1892 house was home to George Washington Tindall and Mary Pilcher Tindall and eight of their 10 children.
In the living room of the Tindall House was a 5-foot-tall decorated Christmas tree. The pine tree was cut down on the Outstanding Natural Area property with the permission of Bureau of Land Management officials, said Stuve.
“We took the tree from the north part of the property, where BLM officials are thinning the trees,” said Stuve.