Photograph by John Nickerson

On April 8th, 2020, I celebrate my fifth year volunteering for WaterFire. It was a last minute decision to attend my very first Spark Night that night at 6 PM. That meeting turned into another meeting at the future site of the WaterFire Arts Center. I ended my 2015 season playing Santa Claus at the fifth annual Christmas WaterFire event in December. Five years later, I am still so very thankful that I did stay.

WaterFire, the most unique art installation in the world,  has given me an opportunity to see downtown Providence in a whole new way- from the vantage point of three rivers. I had never thought about volunteering with any organization in Rhode Island. Now, I can’t picture NOT giving my time to this great organization. Volunteering as a Boat Captain, Ambassador of Light, or even on the annual FireBall Committee gives me a sense of peace and a chance to give back in a small way to Rhode Island.

I am thankful for the wonderful friendships I have made in the past five years, people I would have never met if it weren’t for WaterFire. Community is more important than ever, especially at this time.

– Ken Panciera

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