FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2016
PRESS CONTACT: Bronwyn Dannenfelser
Office: (401) 273-1155 x142
WaterFire Providence Announces Details of the
4th Annual Salute to Veterans
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Walmart, the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association, Bank of America, National Grid, Dominion Power & Energy, Chase Canopy,
the Providence VA Medical Center, and many other generous
sponsors help WaterFire to honor Veterans across Southern New England
Providence, RI: WaterFire Providence is proud to announce the fourth annual WaterFire Salute to Veterans on November 5, 2015. The fires will be lit at 4:50 p.m. after opening ceremonies. This fire is made possible by Gold Star Sponsor Walmart, Presenting Sponsor of the Veterans Resource Fair The Providence VA Medical Center, Silver Star Sponsors Bank of America and National Grid, Bronze Star Sponsors Dominion Power & Energy and Chase Canopy, Media Sponsor the Rhode Island Broadcasters Association and other supporting sponsors: Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, Verizon, New England Laborers’ Tri-Funds, RI Chapter of Associated General Contractors, and HomeBridge Financial Services.
The Fourth Annual WaterFire Salute to Veterans is a full WaterFire lighting solely devoted to saluting and honoring our veterans, officers, currently enlisted members of the armed forces and their families in the region’s largest celebration of veterans of its kind. With the full support of Senator Jack Reed, the Rhode Island Congressional Delegation, Governor Gina Raimondo, Director Kasim Yarn, Office of Veteran Affairs, and keynote speaker, Retired Army Captain Craig Mullaney. WaterFire looks forward to celebrating and thanking the brave service men and women in our community on a grand scale. This year, we will be specially honoring our post-9/11 OEF, OIF, and OND Veterans.
Christopher Buchanan, Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations for Walmart was happy to share his thoughts on the importance of supporting our veterans as the Gold Star sponsor of this event:
“Walmart is proud to support the veterans of Rhode Island and WaterFire for their contributions to the community. Our commitment to hiring 100,000 veterans nationwide and investing $20 million in transition and employment programs has already resulted in many new job opportunities, management positions, and a better quality of life for Rhode Island veterans. Walmart's goal is to have a multiplying effect on the programs and services available to veterans and their families.”
The WaterFire Providence Veterans Resource Fair on Washington Street and Washington Street Bridge is presented by sponsors, Providence VA Medical Center and supported by contributing sponsors Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, Verizon and HomeBridge Financial Services.
Located on Washington Street and the Washington Street Bridge and opening at 3:00 p.m., the Veterans Resource Fair will feature organizations from across Rhode Island dedicated to providing services to veterans and their families. WaterFire invites veterans, their families and the public to come and learn about all of the amazing resources available to them— from medical help and job transition services to educational programs and veteran’s family services. Organizations include:
Welcome Home Tent for our OEF, OIF, and OND Veterans : WaterFire Providence would like to shine a spotlight on and extend an extra special welcome to our post-9/11 Veterans. Stationed on the Washington Street Bridge will be the OEF, OIF, and OND Veterans Welcome Home tent. A warm and inviting tent dedicated to the men and women who served in these conflicts, all post-9/11 Veterans are welcome to join us in this area in celebration of your service. Complimentary coffee in the Welcome Home Tent will be provided by Veteran Coffee Roasters. The public is also welcome and we are encouraging people to bring down pictures of family members or themselves to hang in the tent as well as submit them prior to WaterFire through email to be hung in the reception area. To submit your photo for display, please e-mail Bronwyn@waterfire.org.
- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will be onsite to allow veterans to search for jobs and to find employers that are advocates for veterans in the workforce.
- The Providence VA will have an entire area dedicated to enrolling veterans in the VA healthcare system to address their health issues and ensure they are provided with the care and coverage they deserve.
- United Way 2-1-1 will also be onsite with a fully functional RV to connect veterans with many resources available in RI including assistance in the areas of utility assistance, substance abuse and addiction, disability, housing needs, food assistance, child care, legal assistance and health issues.
- On Washington Street, photographer Andrew Pigg will be taking portraits of veterans and their families free of charge.
- PeaceLove Studios will have an interactive art-making station on the Washington Street Bridge
- CurrentCare, Veterans Inc., the State of Rhode Island, United Veteran Council, Team Red, White, & Blue, Veteran Business Outreach Centers, and HomeBridge Financial Services will also be present a the Resource Fair.
As always, this event is free and WaterFire hopes to help ensure that our vets have the services and support they need to connect them with the resources available to them and to their families.
- A special Soldiers’ Cross ceremony for our Veterans will be performed by Rolling Thunder RI Chapter 1 every half hour after lighting in Memorial Park.
Opening Ceremonies begin in the Department of Administration Building: 3:30 p.m. – Join Governor Gina Raimondo, Director of the Office of Veteran Affairs Kasim Yarn, and special Keynote speaker, Retired Army Captain Craig Mullaney, Veteran of Afghanistan, West Point Graduate, Bishop Hendricken Valedictorian, Rhode Scholar, NYT Best Selling Author “The Unforgiving Minute.” We will present the colors, sing the National Anthem, and honor our Veterans.
Herb Chambers Cadillac of Warwick helps to kick off the WaterFire lighting with a spectacular Salute to Veterans Torch Procession and Ring of Fire in Waterplace Basin. Starting at 5:30 p.m., veterans from our community will process into Waterplace Basin led by the RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums. Here they will join their brothers and sisters in arms to surround the basin in a ring of fire ceremony with a presentation of the colors as the National Anthem and a full music program is played by the Navy Band Northeast and the Army 88th Band on the basin stage.
Braziers throughout the installation have been dedicated, by the community, to our veterans. Dedications will be recognized on the digital media displays as well as in our printed event program. Please take a moment to acknowledge these special tributes.
WaterFire Providence lights and activates war memorials in Memorial Park in honor of our veterans. Memorial Park will be alight with blue stars to honor the Blue Star Families of Rhode Island and families that have a loved one serving in the military. Visitors are invited to share their hopes, dedications and thanks for our veterans. Other special events in this area include:
A special memorial ceremony will also take place on the rivers among the fires. At 6:00 p.m. memorial vessels will pass through the bonfires along the length of the river to honor and remember the service men and women that are no longer with us. Guests are invited to salute or place their hands over their hearts as the memorial canoes make their way throughout the installation.
- Starting at approximately 6:20 p.m. WaterFire will highlight the WWI, WWII and Korean War memorials in downtown Providence with the playing of Echo Taps, recognizing the service and sacrifice of all generations of veterans.
- A Missing Man Table will also be set up in Memorial Park to honor and recognize all those soldiers who have gone into battle and have not returned. Full of symbolism, this table contains many items that remind us of the sacrifices of both military and civilian lives lost and affected through combat and military service.
RIPTA will be providing free rides to veterans to the WaterFire Salute to Veterans. Please have proof of service (military ID card or otherwise) and join us!
It is incredibly important that we, as a community, recognize the service and sacrifice of the men and women that have served in America’s military. We look forward to celebrating through WaterFire all that they have done. Please join us to thank our veterans, face-to-face, as a community. Check waterfiresalutetoveterans.org for continuing updates about this special event.
Power up with National Grid! National Grid charging stations will be located throughout the event on November 5th. Stop by and charge up your smart phones and other electronic devices so that you can capture all of the incredible sights at WaterFire.
The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza, in partnership with Bryce Studio, will be located on Steeple Street from 4:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. This outdoor artisan fair will showcase some of the great artwork created in Rhode Island in mediums such as glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry and more. The WaterFire Arts Festival Plaza will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase artwork by Rhode Island-based artists.
WaterFire’s favorite characters are back for another enchanting evening.
- TEN31 Productions returns with their interactive living statues and gargoyles in Memorial Park at the World War 1 Monument shortly after lighting.
- Origami Master Andrew Anselmo will delight crowds of all ages near the RISD auditorium.
- Catch mime artist Michael Grando in costume as the Commedia dell’arte character Pierrot, as he cruises the river tossing carnations to visitors along the shore.
- Fire spinners Liz Knights and Andrew Lindsay will dazzle you with their breathtaking performances throughout the night.
This will be the final full lighting of WaterFire Providence for the 2016 season. Please join us for the FireBall on November 17th at the new WaterFire Arts Center! For tickets and more info visit our website: waterfire.org/fireball. WaterFire is looking for additional community support to add date to the 2017 season to continue making Providence a better place to live, work and visit. For information about sponsoring or supporting WaterFire Providence, please contact Bronwyn Dannenfelser, Director of Resource Development at 401-273-1155 or email@example.com.
WaterFire Providence is an independent, non-profit arts organization whose mission is to inspire Providence and its visitors by revitalizing the urban experience, fostering community engagement and creatively transforming the city by presenting WaterFire for all to enjoy. For more information or to donate, visit: waterfire.org