Marcia R. Gipstein is the recipient of the 2017 Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award for her many years of “Giving Back to the Community”. The award was presented at the annual City of Groton Day celebration on August 4.
A check for $1,000 was presented to the Ledge Light Foundation Inc. in her honor. The charitable donation from Groton Utilities is the symbol of the award.
From 2008 to the present, Gipstein has been a major force and volunteer in the community effort to keep Ledge Light local. In nominating his wife for the award, Todd Gipstein, who is President of the Ledge Light Foundation, said that, while she is a transplant to Groton, “Marcia has embraced the community, helped Eastern Point, and been one of the driving forces behind the restoration and use of Ledge Light, a beloved local landmark.”
“For eight (8) years, she has often put in 40-hours a week (all volunteer) helping restore the light, create the museum inside the lighthouse, and run tours,” he explained.
Todd says that Marcia was the driving force behind the lighthouse’s 2009 Centennial Gala. That event drew 220 people and raised enough money to commission important studies, start the museum and allow the Foundation to begin serous restoration work.
Groton Utilities named the award, The Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award, to commemorate Mrs. Nixon’s service to her community. Jackie, as she was known to most, gave back to the community in many ways, including operating a food pantry in her residence for 24 years. She distributed food on a regular basis to many needy families. Jackie passed away July 6, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer. Groton Utilities created the award in 2004 during its 100th anniversary year.
In 2009, Marcia was the driving force behind the lighthouse’s Centennial gala, which drew 220 people and raised enough money to commission important studies to start the museum and begin serious restoration work.
For the past nine (9) years, she has been on the Ledge Light Foundation Board of Directors, serving as its treasurer. Her involvement has also included all the preservation work on the light, writing grants, creating the gift shop. She has also been in charge of tour guides, tour scheduling and been a guide herself.
Marcia co-wrote the application for ownership of the light when the federal government offered it to a non-profit. This was a joint effort with the New London Maritime Society to keep Ledge Light local. The result was successful.
Her other volunteer efforts include serving as co-president of the Eastern Point Property Owners Association from 2007-2012 and contributing her time and energy helping on various projects such as the annual block party. She has been a member of the Eastern Point Historical Commission since 2009, helping to keep the Eastern Point neighborhood an historical gem.
Earle A. Williams was the recipient of the first annual Jacqueline B. Nixon Community Service Award. Other winners of the award are: Robert “Bob” Leeney, Mimi
Orkney, Lillian “Lil” Hansen, Sarah Stanley, William “Bill” Welsh, Jr., Alfred Restivo, Robert “Bob” Austin LaFrance, Archie C. Swindell, Mildred “Milly” Carlson, Lian Obrey, James “Jim” Streeter and Charlie Ebbinghaus.