The recently established committee leading Fairfield's renewed efforts to gain control of the Penfield Reef Lighthouse is seeking donations for the project.

The Penfield Reef Lighthouse Preservation Committee was established several weeks ago by the Board of Selectmen after learning the federal government is putting the lighthouse up for sale in an auction. The lighthouse, dating to 1874, is on the block again after the federal government took back the property from Beacon Preservation, the non-profit awarded control in 2008. That action was rescinded after Beacon became embroiled in a dispute over the rights to the property's bottomlands.

After the selectmen voted to try to gain control of the landmark off the town's shoreline, the committee launched a drive for private donations to make a bid it will place in the online auction for the lighthouse. The government auction closes on Sept. 30.

If the committee succeeds in gaining ownership of Penfield Reef Lighthouse, it plans to continue to seek donations to restore the lighthouse's structural integrity and return it to its historical character, the committee said in a statement.

The committee has established these donation levels: Lighthouse Keeper, $25; Petty Officer, $50; Ensign, $100; Lieutenant, $250; Commander, $500; Captain, $750; Admiral, $1,000, and Fleet Benefactor, over $1,000.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should make checks payable to "Penfield Reef Lighthouse Preservation" and mail or drop them off to the First Selectman's Office at 725 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

Questions or ideas about the lighthouse-acquisition effort may be addressed to Lighthouse Committee Co-Chairmen Sandye Mann at or Bill Sapone at