Fundraising underway for the Station Memorial Fire Park
PROVIDENCE, R.I. —
May kicks off a month long fundraising effort through Rhode Island's faith communities to raise money to complete the Station Fire Memorial Park.
Faith leaders played an important role in the aftermath of the tragic fire in 2003, and organizers felt it was important to include them in the building of a permanent memorial as well.
The Station Fire Memorial Foundation is about $300,000 shy of its goal of $2 million to open the park in the Fall and maintain it.
"This is going to be a way for all faith communities to become part of the memorial. They'll be allowed to buy a brick for a donation," said Randy Yurston of First Baptist Church of East Greenwich, where a video about the memorial project was played for the Congregation Sunday.
"The first walkway when you enter the memorial park is going to be tied in to faith communities so it's very special for all of us," said Dan Barrry who's directing the fundraising campaign and called the unity among the various faith communities historic.
More than five hundred congregations throughout Rhode Island are taking part in the May fundraising campaign, across all faiths including Jewish, Muslim and Christian.
"Based on their own traditions they're going to do things, whether it's a second collection, a supper dinner, raffles; there are all different ways congregations can support us," said Barry.
"Five hundred faith communities who sometimes have their legitimate differences on issues are united in this effort which is wonderful," said Rev. Robert Marciano, pastor of St. Kevin's Catholic Church in Warwick, which is holding a second collection for the Station Fire Memorial the weekend of May 7th & 8th.
The parish is also holding a concert honoring first responders on May 20, 2016, that will be dedicated to the Memorial project.
Rev Marciano is also the Warwick police and fire department chaplain and was on scene the night of the Station fire.
"Something you never forget, a day doesn't go by you don't think about it. I didn't drive by for about two years after that because of the impact it had on all of our lives," said Rev. Marciano.
Those who want to donate to the Station Memorial project can do so through their own House of Worship or on line at: www.stationfirememorialfoundation.org