Thanks to John Gitkov and a host of volunteers, the Shrine lodge receives a greatly needed makeoverBy Deirdre Darr
On Sunday, September 1, at the Shrine of St. Therese some very dedicated people gathered at the Lodge. The Shrine Board hosted a barbecue to thank the volunteers who helped to save the Lodge. October will mark the 75th anniversary of the Shrine Chapel, and the lodge turned 80 this year. Less than a year ago, the decision was made to knock the Lodge down; age and the marine environment had taken its toll on the log structure. The Board had concerns about safety and after consulting an engineering firm, the cost to repair the current building was simply too expensive. The Board made the difficult decision to demolish the Lodge.
Then, Shrine friend and neighbor, John Gitkov, stepped in with a plan to save the Lodge for only $115,000. John was very persuasive; his plan was approved by engineers, and the Board voted in favor of the renovation. John had the idea, but he couldn’t do the work by himself. He assembled a band of volunteers to do the work beginning with his wife, Jane Hawkins. There were many others who donated their time and talent including: Bruce Abel, Jim Abel, Jack Beedle, Rick Bilefeld, Pam Crowe, Don Howell, Brian Thomas, John Walsh, Tim Johnson, Catherine Gitkov and Jeanne Jordan.
Because of the commitment of these volunteers, the Lodge will last for many more years to come. Bishop Burns presented a plaque to John for his ingenuity and enthusiasm. Bishop Burns made a point of thanking all the volunteers for the long hours they put in to help the Shrine save the Lodge.
You too can be part of the continued effort to help save the Lodge. Please visit the Shrine website to donate to the Building Fund to help offset the costs of the supplies.
Cathedral parishioner and Douglasite Paula Rohrbacher recently blogged on a morning spent at the Shrine of St. Therese. Find her reflections on the Shrine, Faith and life at: