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The owners of the Morris Island Lighthouse kick off their fund-raising drive today to restore the historic lighthouse off Folly Beach.
At a 1 p.m. ceremony at Folly Beach City Hall, Save the Light Inc. will unveil a limited edition print of the lighthouse by local artist Jim Booth. All proceeds from sales of the print will go to the effort to preserve the lighthouse stranded in the sea between Folly Beach and Morris Island.
"It's Charleston's connection with its maritime history, and if we lost that, it will be a tragic loss for the state", Booth said.
According to Save the Light co-chairman Robert New, Save the Lighthouse prints will be available at 86 Market Arts; Jim Booth Art Gallery; Charleston Collections; Charleston Frameworks; CSA Galleries; Folly Beach Pier Gift Shop; Frame Design Galleries; Gallery South; and Steve Jordan Gallery.
The cost of restoring the lighthouse has been estimated at $1 million. Save the Light has raised $50,000, New said. The group has asked local governments for contributions and hopes to get $500,000 this year from the General Assembly.
The Army Corps of Engineers, meanwhile, is studying the structural integrity of the 127-year old structure.
Save the Light bought the lighthouse for $75,000 in February. Columbia businessman Paul Gunter sold the lighthouse after obtaining it in a foreclosure suit.