Terry and Cynthia Rowden of ALF’s Friends of Little River Lighthouse were honored with Len Hadley Volunteer Awards during the American Lighthouse Foundation’s annual Gala, which was held at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport, Maine, on May 1, 2022.
When it comes to a volunteer living and breathing a project, few exemplify this notion better than Terry Rowden of the Friends of Little River Lighthouse. To say that Terry is dedicated would be an understatement.
Since the founding of the Friends of Little River Lighthouse as an ALF chapter in 2008, Terry has been selflessly giving of his time and talents to a place that speaks to his heart—something that goes back a few decades ago when Terry served as a keeper at Little River for the U.S. Coast Guard from 1968 to 1970.
To top things off, Terry has served as the volunteer island caretaker and host of an ever-growing overnight stay program since 2015. However, for all the contributions that Terry has made to the restoration and upkeep of the light station / island over the years, 2021 may very well be his most incredible effort.
Not only did Terry perform his usual “above & beyond” work on the island as its “keeper”—tackling everything from mowing the lawn, removing downed trees, maintaining the boat and floats and keeping the tractor and other equipment / systems in tip-top shape, he had to commit to doing even more when it came to the overnight stay program.
In a normal year, Terry has a ton of work to carry out for the overnight stay program. In part, the “to do” list includes coordinating the schedule of each guest with our reservations person, picking up guests in Cutler and transporting them to and from the island, keeping track of the onsite gift items, answering questions that guests have—and of course, constantly tidying up the house.
But as we know, when the pandemic struck in 2020—forcing the closure of the overnight stay program that year, any activity was going to look much different when operations resumed again in 2021.
Normal was now gone. The heavy workload remained, of course, but due to the challenges of safely coping with the ongoing pandemic, the demand only grew more cumbersome. There were safety checklists to collect from overnight guests, social distancing to ensure—and enhanced cleaning / disinfectant activities. Terry accepted all of these additional requirements like a trooper—wanting very much for overnight guests to be able to safely enjoy Little River Lighthouse once again. For all of this and more, the American Lighthouse Foundation and the Friends of Little River Lighthouse are pleased to honor Terry Rowden with a 2022 Len Hadley Volunteer Award!
Cynthia has been a vital volunteer for the Friends of Little River Lighthouse (FLRL) for many years, assuming the chapter chairperson position in 2015. In this capacity, Cynthia’s leadership, energy and diverse talents have helped FLRL achieve some wonderful milestones at the island light station.
Little River’s overnight stay program, which started in 2008, has increased revenues every year thereafter, thanks in large part to the many aspects Cynthia lends a helping hand to. Her contributions often can go unnoticed since a number of them are behind the scenes activities, but make no mistake, no offshore island lighthouse program functions well without dedicated and talented support from the mainland.
Cynthia works closely with her husband—Terry Rowden, to make sure he has the countless items and supplies that naturally arise throughout the season. This requires Cynthia to make phone calls, travel to obtain the supplies—and ultimately deliver them to the boat ramp in Cutler. She also works with American Lighthouse Foundation’s Ann–Marie Trapani who manages the overnight stay reservations software program and the chapter’s financial accounting. Cynthia is a huge help to Ann–Marie with making sure island monies are collected and deposited in the bank, and with ensuring all purchase receipts and other bookkeeping documentation are maintained — dotting every “I” and crossing every “T.” For all of this and more, the American Lighthouse Foundation and the Friends of Little River Lighthouse are pleased to honor Cynthia Rowden with a 2022 Len Hadley Volunteer Award!