Pair of events to celebrate 25th anniversary of The Lighthouse


ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Lighthouse of Baldwin County will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a pair of events on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

First, there will be an invitation-only Celebration Luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. in the auditorium at the Baldwin County Central Annex in Robertsdale.

The event will honor all current and past Lighthouse Board members, including the organization’s first executive director, Jerry Sommer, who is also a current member of the Board.

“She has come full circle,” said Rhyon Ervin, who is just the third executive director to serve the organization since its founding. Ervin took over as executive director following the departure of Joanne Sheils in April of 2018. “She is, and always has been, an invaluable asset to this organization.”

Judge Pamela Baschab, who was instrumental in founding the organization in 1994, will serve as the keynote speaker for the luncheon, Ervin said.

“None of this would have been possible without her,” Ervin said, “so it is only fitting that she will be there to celebrate our past and look to what the future has in store for us as we continue our commitment to serving the communities of Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh and Monroe counties.”

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a candlelight vigil will be held at Honeybee Park in Robertsdale. That event is open to anyone who would like to participate, Ervin said.

Based in Robertsdale, The Lighthouse opened in 1994 and “is committed to providing support, preventing violence and promoting justice for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

The Lighthouse is authorized by the county District Attorney’s office as the official domestic violence shelter in Baldwin County and also provides a 24-hour crisis line, individual and group counseling, case management, court advocacy services, transitional housing, advocacy for children and prevention education.

The Lighthouse is a non-discriminatory, equal opportunity agency, partially supported by the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, Victims of Crime Act, Violence Against Women Act, Department of Public Health, U.S. Department of Housing and Development, and the Baldwin County United Way.

The Lighthouse is a member of the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Alabama Coalition Against Sexual Violence.

While The Lighthouse actually celebrated its 25th anniversary in September, Ervin said it is fitting that the events to celebrate the anniversary will be held in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“It was just the first date we had available, but it worked out just fine,” Ervin said. “Our goal, and our biggest challenge, remains to let women know that our services are available to them.”

Anyone who would like more information on The Lighthouse and its services can contact Ervin at 251-947-6197 or they can visit The Lighthouse of Baldwin County page at