Volunteer Spotlight on Johnson & Wales University

The Bridge of Stars. Photo by Jeffrey Stolzberg.

This has been an incredible year for WaterFire. With an ever growing and expanding event comes the need for growth and development within not only the organization itself, but also in the need for a large group of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteers are an integral part of WaterFire. They assist in all aspects of event production, special projects and anything else WaterFire dreams up. WaterFire volunteers are not only essential for the production of each event, but are considered a living part of the artwork. Part of WaterFire’s message is about bringing the community together and working to create something beautiful. It enhances the architecture and landscapes along the river, beautifying our city as a whole. The event is planned and produced by members of our community, for our community.

Every year, hundreds of college students play a crucial role in helping to bring the magic of WaterFire to life, but this year the students and staff of Johnson and Wales were especially vital to the illumination of WaterFire.

JWU Men's Tennis

The Johnson & Wales University Men’s Tennis team, led by coach Devin Kitterick has been an indispensable addition to WaterFire efforts during this season. Not only did they volunteer their time and energy during event days, but they also helped at multiple wood moving workouts replenishing the wood bays on river, filling boats for the the lighting, and stacking the wood at the WaterFire wood lot to keep it dry. They also assisted with the preparation of prep material critical for lighting the fires. In addition to the JWU Men’s Tennis team, many other Johnson and Wales sports teams such as the Women’s Field Hockey Team, the Women’s Soccer Team, and the Women’s Softball Team also jumped on board this season and assisted with the production of WaterFire.

Johnson & Wales student get instructions from WaterFire's production manager, Elvis Custodio.

In addition, many Johnson and Wales Residence Halls played an important role at WaterFire this year. With back to back lightings during the height of our season this past fall, hundreds of volunteers were needed on a continuous basis. Snowden Hall, South Hall, McNulty Hall, East Hall, The Cove, Imperial Hall, Centennial House, Harbor View, are just a few of the JWU Residence Halls that assisted us both behind the scenes and right in the center of action at events such as the November 9 first ever “WaterFire Salute to Veterans Lighting.”

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Many Greek Life organizations associated with Johnson and Wales University were also very willing and excited to lend a hand this season. Tau Epsilon Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Phi Sigma Kappa Tri Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho, and more helped to bring events such as the ever popular “WaterFire Flames of Hope” event in partnership with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to fruition on Saturday, October 12.

Numerous other students and staff at Johnson and Wales University joined our WaterFire Team this season to help bring community, art, and culture together. From the JWU Criminal Justice Organization, to the JWU Ad Club, to the JWU Special Events Society and beyond, WaterFire is lucky to have such an incredible University filled with hundreds of students and staff willing to jump on board in bringing light and life to their community making Providence a wonderful place to live, work, and play. WaterFire looks forward to a continuous and ongoing relationship with Johnson and Wales University for many seasons to come.

For more information on how you, your team, your group, or your residence hall can bring inspiration and beauty to the city of Providence and help cultivate community engagement please contact the WaterFire Volunteer Department at 401.273.9727 or email us at volunteer@waterfire.org.

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