Light Station Volunteers: Be a ‘Wickie'

Help out on projects around the East Brother Light Station.

LEND THE LIGHT STATION LOVE: Supporting an historic site, one that welcomes visitors via tours or overnights, can be done by booking a stay, or reserving a tour spot, and seeing some of your money go to the upkeep of the venerable property. But, on occasion, there are other ways to lend some love to a place that has many stories to tell. While not every decades-old hotel sends out the call to volunteers -- few do, actually -- there are spots that invite the hand that can wield a hammer or apply some paint or give a 19th-century building some TLC. The East Brother Light Station is one such place, and its volunteer program is so sweet, and includes such loyal participants, that those who pitch in have a name: Wickies. It's a cute nod to a lighthouse wick, although the handsome light station, which sits about ten minutes west of Richmond between San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, long ago traded in the old-school illumination for LED technology. So, how does one join the Wickies, and what do Wickies do? Well, they show up at the designated marina in Richmond on the second Saturday of the month, ready to roll up their sleeves and...

SPIFFY UP THE STATION, which involves several tasks. "Life on the Island is not simple & each task presents its own challenges," say the station's keepers. There's a to-do list, which can involve anything from landscaping and gardening to roofing to carpentry to marketing and fundraising. Do you meet other people who love lighthouses and history and helping out? You bet. Will you be able to gaze out upon the handsome pile, with its elegant, low-tone foghorn and pretty tower, and know you contributed something? Absolutely; it is easily spied from several points around San Pablo Bay, including the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. If you do stay the night there down the road, will you want to brag a bit, about how you helped mend a fence or plant some flowers? You should brag, as it might inspire others to volunteer. To get the info on joining the Wickies, on the beautiful East Brother Light Station, and where to meet for the boat (and when), point your bright light over here.

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