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Bemus Point Stow Ferry gives thanks

The Bemus Point-Stow Ferry is expected to renew operations next year after spending three years on hiatus.

Members of the Sea Lion Project Board of Directors made the announcement in a submission to The Post-Journal.

“After much hard work and concerted effort during a challenging 2020, the board of directors of the Sea Lion Project, a local all-volunteer nonprofit focused on the operation and maintenance of the historic Bemus Point Stow Ferry, is feeling elated and thankful to announce plans for anticipated renewed 2021 operations, after a three-year hiatus,” board members wrote. “The story of this years’ successful restoration and repair efforts involves numerous volunteers, craftsman and regional companies. As we head into this holiday season, we wish to recognize and give our thanks to all you have worked so hard toward the goal of restoring this precious piece of interactive local history.”

David Hohl of Hohl Industrial Services was a critical partner in the vessel’s needed dry-dock repair work on the hull this past summer. North Harmony allowed the board to use the Stow Landing to do the work needed. From a funding perspective, the board received a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF) to help pay for the hull repairs. The most significant grant was made possible by the Helen F. Granger and Molly Ottaway Community Service Fund and Ruth R. Olson Memorial Fund.

“The timing of their critical support of our volunteer efforts reinforced our own commitments,” board members said. “Throughout the entire project the kind of support demonstrated by individuals, companies, and volunteers confirmed we were on the right track. The discretionary grants from the Sheldon Foundation were another pleasant surprise along with many donations large and small by individuals. The money pays the bills but the moral support and encouragement is the fuel that keeps volunteers moving forward.”

Board members plan an end-of-the-year publication to better to detail all of the team’s steps taken along the way.

“In the meantime, we wish everyone in our community a happy and safe holiday, as we all look forward to brighter days in 2021 and are able to meet again on the deck of this cherished ferry overlooking the beautiful waters of Chautauqua Lake,” board members wrote.

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