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Children planting a garden
Olympian Ryan Hall at the Big Bear Lighthouse Project Awards
The Lighthouse Project Logo
Young Musicians from the MountainTop Strings program playing violin at an event
Man guest speaker on stage at a community event

Our Purpose

The Big Bear Lighthouse Project is devoted to the creation of child-honoring communities in which children are put first in the minds and hearts of all agencies, organizations, businesses, groups, clubs, and individuals.  To honor a child with the utmost respect and to tend to their needs as a community has multiple meanings and outcomes.  To truly honor children, adults must also honor and treat one another respectfully.  All members of the community must feel a sense of self-worth and belonging.  All must be willing to set aside judgment and differences in favor of respect and cooperation.  To create a child-honoring community is to create a cultural and social revolution that will impact the future for generations to come.

Peace Builders 5.png

Our Vision

The Lighthouse Project will create in Big Bear a child-honoring community in which respect for one another, supportive relationships, and our community values can be observed and felt throughout our community.

Young children playing outside at school

Our Mission

The mission of the Lighthouse Project, a non-profit organization devoted to a proactive culture shift in honor of our community’s children, is to work collaboratively with other agencies, groups, organizations, and individuals to create a community in which all members:

  • Have a sense of worth and belonging

  • Take responsibility for themselves, each other, and all children

  • View children as assets, and use the positive language of asset building in personal
    and professional settings

  • Are further inspired to achieve excellence in all endeavors

  • Awareness and Consensus Building

  • Collaboration toward the Lighthouse vision among schools, agencies, clubs, faith-based organizations, and individuals through coordinated and focused efforts

  • Empowering Youth

  • Influencing Civic Decisions

  • Honoring Diversity While Building Bridges for an All-Inclusive Community

  • Attracting new young people to the community, thereby reinvigorating the community in a variety of sectors including schools, churches, clubs and the economy

Tim Wood | Founder of the Big Bear Lighthouse Project

In Memory of Our Founder

Tim Wood

Tim Wood moved to Big Bear Lake in 1976 to start his career in real estate.  It proved to be his calling and he remained in Big Bear for the rest of his life and became one of the top real estate agents in the town.  

He was known for his formidable work ethic and was known to be first in the office and last to leave for many years.  He was very successful and involved in the development and/or sales of virtually all of the major subdivisions in Big Baer throughout his career.  He was a natural coach and mentor and loved helping people realize their potential.  He cared very much about the Big Bear community and was dedicated to giving back.

He was involved with the creation of Operation Breakthrough, a local drug prevention and treatment agency, and the founder of The Lighthouse Project, which sponsors events and programs in support of his vision to cultivate a “child honoring community”. Lighthouse sponsored initiatives included cycling events, a marathon, a running program and school garden projects for Big Bear children, support for the Mountain Top Strings, a perpetual Steven G. Mahaylo scholarship, support for the Community Gardens, Big Bear Valley Imagination Library, Odyssey of the Mind and more.  

Because of Tim’s generosity, work ethic and dedication to supporting the healthy development of children, The Lighthouse Program continues to serve the Big Bear community and beyond.

Beth Gardner  and Tim Wood
Wooden bridge over a lake

Our Board Members

Tim Brigham | President of the Big Bear Lighthouse Project


 Tim Brigham

Beth Wheat | Program Director of The Big Bear Lighthouse Project

Beth Wheat

Program Director

Beth Wheat is a lifelong community activist, educator and connector.  She worked side by side with Lighthouse Project founder and philanthropist, Tim Wood, to establish Lighthouse Project and its programming with the mission to nurture a child honoring culture in Big Bear and beyond.  The guiding principles were to create and support programs that would contribute to healthy children, adults and community.  Current programs include support for Mountain Top Strings, Community Gardens, Big Bear Imagination Library and Odyssey of the Mind.  Past programming included Run The Bear marathon and cycling event, Run a Million Miles campaign, school gardens and orchards and Peace Builders.  In addition to her work with Lighthouse Project, Beth is also a founding and board member of The Big Bear Theatre Project, and President of Gobo, LLC.

wooden bridge over a lake

Join Our Team

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Now Seeking

Board Members & Volunteers

Are you committed to creating a child-honoring community within the Big Bear Valley? We are seeking compassionate, dedicated, and empathetic volunteers and leaders to join our board and come alongside The Lighthouse Project as we serve our beloved community.


For more information and to apply, email

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