The Scuttlebutt

Overfalls 2023 Year End Message

It has been an exciting 85th year for our beloved LV118, Lightship Overfalls and the Overfalls Foundation.  As we begin 2024, it’s nice to take a moment to reflect on what the Foundation has been able to accomplish this year.

First and foremost, 2023 marked the 50th year LV118 has been on the Lewes waterfront.  As members, volunteers and donors, you need to be proud of the Lightship Overfalls National Historic Monument status that through your generous donations of time and money, we continue to maintain.  We now have over 320 members in our organization, and I look forward to seeing more of you become members.  For me personally, it’s a great feeling to know that I have a role in maintaining the only such maritime monument in the Great State of Delaware.  

We had our usual program of guest speakers in the winter and then on to our happy hours and family programs this summer.  All of these continue to grow in participation, but our summer happy hours with live music were our most popular event.  Our opening day nearly rained out, but we still had one of our largest tour turnouts!  We had several new successful events this year – we partnered with the Lewes Historical Society for the Sea Glass Festival (another big tour weekend), opened an Overfalls anniversary museum exhibit at the Cannonball House and had the first children’s pirate parade for Halloween.  We also had our first Beer & Benevolence fundraising events at Dogfish Head Brewery & Eats that were also great successes.  Our Lightship Overfalls and Monomoy participation in the Lewes July 4th Boat Parade continues to be a hit thanks to the Monomoy crew.  2023 also marked a year in which we inducted 5 new members into the Delaware Maritime Hall of Fame – Captain Sharon Dounce, Mr. Charles Fithian, Ms. Tracy Mulveny, Mr. Ronal Smith and Rear Admiral Samuel F. DuPont.  

On the business front, we launched our new website that now works equally well across computers, electronic notebooks and cellphones.  We’ve also selected a new contact management system that will help us improve how we manage and maintain our membership, volunteers, donors, and sponsors.  

With the donation of nearly 4000 volunteer hours as of November 1, the ship, store, Monomoy and our museum grounds continue to look great.  Ship preservation and maintenance is ongoing and this year saw continued preservation work inside the ship to include radio equipment and engine order telegraph restoration.  

Our volunteers continue to do amazing work and I am proud that we are a 100% all-volunteer run organization.  I especially want to congratulate our 2023 volunteer award recipients – Patty Jackson for the President’s Award; David Bernheisel for the Behind the Scenes Award; Dan Picciotta for receiving the Dirty Hands Gang Member of the Year and to Don Gansauer (who stepped down this year) for his years of leadership of the Dirty Hands Gang.  

Looking to 2024, our programs will continue.  Keep an eye on our website, Instagram and Facebook pages along with reading our E-Blasts to stay up to date on events.  

Mike Safina

PS:  If you are not a member, please consider becoming one!  We’d love to have you join our team.