Volunteer Spotlight: Denice Hicks

If you have been at a Prep Party, Woodpile Workout, or checked in for a lighting this past month you have probably been greeted by the smiling faces of Denice Hicks and her daughter Leigha. Amassing over 50 hours in just the month of June alone; Denice has spent time making stars, creating fuse materials, stacking wood onto the boats, refilling the bays, and has even stayed late with Chee Heng finishing his new luminaria near Jacky’s restaurant.

Volunteers gather before a lighting. Photo by Erin Cuddigan.

In August of 2013, Denice was looking to make an impact on her city while also giving back to her community. Luckily for us, WaterFire looked like the perfect fit for both! So far, Denice has found her niche not only in event preparation, but also by going a step further and joining the wood boat crews on event nights to feed the fires with the wood she had helped load earlier in the day.

Although Denice loves volunteering as a fire tender aboard the WaterFire wood boats, it is a different kind of vessel that Denice has a fond memory of.

“The [canoes] set up with fallen soldier memorials were so well done I was completely moved. I think all moments are memorable.”

Memorial Canoe, photo by James Turner.

Denice does not volunteer her time at prep events just to rack up volunteer hours; she devotes her time because she truly finds preparation to be of great importance.

“[All moments are memorable]…including the ones behind the scenes like the wood pile workouts and the prep parties. I think the greatest part is when everything just looks so impossible, but then it all just falls into place. Yup that IS the best part of it all.”

Although taking home a piece of the artwork could be the best part, Denice is conflicted on the reasons she keeps coming back.

“The wonderful smell I take home with me keeps me wanting to continue volunteering. Or maybe it’s the snacks, hmmm or it could be the feeling of accomplishment.”

If you or anyone else you know, has any doubts about why you should be joining us on Wednesdays at the Woodpile, or Thursdays for our Prep Parties, or even in all black for our lightings here is what Denice has to say about it, “Giving of one’s self is quite rewarding. So check it out and keep in mind that just because I like to be on the boat does not mean that is all there is. WaterFire has so many different areas in which volunteers are needed.”

Come out and show your support to your community and find your niche by contacting the WaterFire Volunteer Department at 401.273.9727 or email us at volunteer@waterfire.org.

About the author

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In 2009 I started volunteering with WaterFire. By 2010, I was so engrossed with the art, the event, and the volunteers that I became an intern in the Special Events Department, which only pushed my passion further. I kept volunteering and in 2013 became an intern in the Development Department where I was hired and in 2014 brought onto the volunteer team where I happily help recruit, train, retain, and manage over 150 volunteers per event.

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