Six of the eight Metropolis City Council members learned the details during a Jan. 16 Parks & Recreation Committee meeting that also served as an update for the Metropolis Hope Light Project (MHLP) board.
Bess, along with is wife Beverly, established the Hope Light Foundation as a 501c3 non-profit public charity in 2005. Originally from Metropolis, the couple now lives in Hazelwood, Mo. Their driving force in starting the foundation was the loss — within 15 minutes of each other — of a family member and a very dear friend to cancer. The couple had been undergoing their own fight with the disease — Beverly has been a survivor since 1983. The foundation’s goal is help communicate awareness of cancer signs and symptoms in order to increase early cancer detection and survivorship.
Seven years ago, Bess approached the Metropolis City Council about building a lighthouse on the banks of the Ohio River. While plans have changed several times since that first proposal, a few things have not — the light’s purpose and the need for it.
“This has got to be done now,” Bess said. “It’s been too long and we’ve lost too many who wanted to see this come to fruition.”
The lighthouse, known as the Hope Light, is to be “beacon of hope” providing cancer patients, cancer survivors and their family and friends a peaceful and quiet place to meditate. Locally, the project is overseen by MHLP, an entity of the Hope Light Foundation. Land for the project is being provided at no cost to the foundation by the City of Metropolis. Design of the project is also being provided at no cost by Eggemeyer Associates Architects of Carbondale.
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