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SUNSET BEACH—Saturday, April 14, will mark the 103rd anniversary of the birth of local entrepreneur and Sunset Beach founding father, Mannon C. Gore.
The Old Bridge Preservation Society will celebrate his legacy with “A Fabulous Evening of Music and Dancing” at Silver Coast Winery at 7 p.m. Through Gore’s foresight and life-long efforts, Sunset Beach became a place beloved by residents and visitors alike, organizers said.
Gore recognized the beauty of the area and developed the island of Sunset Beach after purchasing it in 1955. A farmer by trade, he had an interest in all things mechanical. By building the first bridge in 1958 from the Sunset Beach mainland to the island, he made it possible for people to visit and live on the island.
In 2010 the pontoon swing bridge based on Gore’s design gave way to a new high-rise span bridge appropriately named the Mannon C. Gore Bridge. At the dedication of the new bridge, Campbell University president Jerry Wallace said Gore was a “man of great vision and innate brilliance, a person of generosity, and one whose passion and determination and stick-to-itivness resulted in the good work of his life.”
The Old Bridge Preservation Society has preserved a piece of Gore’s vision by saving the old bridge and relocating it close to its original home at 109 Shoreline Drive West in Sunset Beach.
Currently, the group is installing a foundation and restoring the tender house. The next steps are to create a museum housing artifacts and photos of the old bridge, the history of the Sunset Beach community and Gore’s work.
Music at the April 14 event will be provided by the Brunswick Big Band with featured vocalist Linda Ladrick. There will be live and silent auctions featuring select old bridge memorabilia, some hand crafted by local artists from actual wood from the old bridge.
Items to be included in the live auction are a stained glass work by Karen Joseph depicting the old bridge and a 40-by-18-by-16-inch pine chest with rope handles with an art inlay of the old bridge, gazebo and Kindred Spirit mailbox donated by Sunset Beach Trading Company.
The third item in the live auction will be a Virginia Lauzon print, signed and matted in a 31-by-26-inch frame handcrafted by Gerry Strickland of salvaged old bridge wood.
Items in the silent auction will be a dinner for four specially prepared by Chef Jonathan Yuricek at Twin Lakes Seafood Restaurant, donated by Twin Lakes and a pillow depicting the old bridge donated by Ray and Carmel Zetts.
The third silent auction item is a large rustic handcrafted frame with a print of the old bridge. Created and signed by Capt. Hugh James, the frame is handcrafted from wood salvaged from the old bridge.
The final silent auction item is a 20-by-14-inch wooden tray, handcrafted in Hickory with local artist Virginia Lauzon’s artwork of the old bridge displayed on the surface. It has wrought iron handles and can also be hung on a wall.
Tickets for the event are $25 per person and can be purchased online at oldbridgepreservationsociety.org or from an OBPS member. Tickets are also available at Pelican Books, Island Breeze, Sunset River Marketplace, Silver Coast Winery and Sunset Beach Gourmet Deli.