Photo by: JEFFREY ZAMPANTI Kenosha's Thomas Corrao is the admin for local Facebook photography group "Capturing Kenosha." The group is producing a sunrise calendar to raise money for Kenosha's Heather McGee, owner of the North Pier Lighthouse

Kenosha photography group using skills to help lighthouse owner

North Pier Lighthouse is in need of numerous improvements

KENOSHA, Wis. — When Kenosha’s Thomas Corrao started a local sunrise photography group, he didn’t realize how popular it would soon become.

“It started off with five people and it’s grown now, we’re almost at 4,000,” Corrao said. “ And it’s only been a year and one month. It’s taken off.”

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Thomas Corrao, Kenosha photographer

One of the group’s focal points is Kenosha’s North Pier Light House. It’s one of the most iconic landmarks in Kenosha.

“Since we have all these photographers taking good quality pictures, it would be fun to put a project together,” Kenosha photographer Mike Middleton said. “But we didn’t want to just do something that would be about us only, but something that could help our community as well.”

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Mike Middleton, Kenosha photographer

The group is creating a 2025 sunrise calendar with proceeds going towards much-needed repairs and improvements at the lighthouse.

The United States Coast Guard owned the lighthouse. It was purchased in 2011 by Kenosha residents Heather McGee and her husband John Burhani.

“The city was auctioning it off and my dad saw it,” Kenosha native Emily Burhani said. “He had been looking, he was an artist who was looking for a place for his art studio, and he did a lot of landscape stuff and a lot of sailboats. So what better place for your studio than the lighthouse?”

John Burhani died from a rare form of cancer shortly after closing on the property. McGee took care of it for years until recently being diagnosed with cancer.

Her daughter Emily is now in charge.

“It’s a big responsibility because it is such an iconic place in Kenosha,” Emily Burhani said. “So we try to keep up with it as much as we can.”

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Emily Burhani, daughter of lighthouse owner Heather McGee

The lighthouse needs new paint, lights, and security cameras.

Corrao is seeking sponsorship for the calendar. It’s expected to be available in mid-November.

“We want to do something good for the city,” Corrao said.