Pat is in black, on the left.

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Like many volunteers, I too was captivated by my first WaterFire, and thought, "I want to do that!" In the early years there were fewer wood boats, no guest boats, no field of stars. In 2000, new volunteers did whatever was needed while waiting to be asked to be on a boat. One morning I assisted an electrician (there were very few staff members), I helped to secure pedestrian pads over electrical cords and held ladders, most of the time retrieving tools and supplies from the truck not knowing what they were. He was patient and I was eager to do my part. In the evening I sold merchandise, only T-shirts and sweatshirts at the time. I passed out programs and collected donations.

Once on the boat, one of my earliest memories of that summer was a WaterFire Wedding. Two volunteers were married on the dock, and a staff member officiated. Fire tenders waited in their boats, as the bride arrived in a Thai boat. Wow, what great community I was becoming a part of, and yes, they are still married.