2014-01-09 / Letters to the Editor

1st Day Plunge was ‘splashing success’

Celebrating the New Year with an island tradition, the third annual Jamestown 1st Day Plunge was a splashing success.

We had approximately 200 “penguins” waddle out into the icy cold water, while nearly 500 Jamestown people from all over Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts watched these brave folks make a big splash. The new fire pits donated by Jamestown Boat Yard and Lila Delman Real Estate warmed the spectators and those wet souls after they plunged.

I would like to take a moment to thank all our corporate sponsors, including local businesses, restaurants and shops for their continued support. Also, a big thanks to the Jamestown Community Band for rallying its group together to provide live music under the extremely cold conditions.

A special thanks goes out to Tina Collins, Paula Swistak, Cyndee Reppe and Kim Devlin of the town offices who assisted with registrations, pledge collections and accounting. Additionally, I would like to thank Mike Swistak, Bill Reppe, Mark Swistak, Jim Rafferty, Steve Munger, John Bailey and Aidan Bailey for helping with the sound system, traffic control and chairs.

I would like to commend Will Wilson of Grapes & Gourmet on his outstanding talent in carving the two 300-pound slabs of ice into the Emperor Penguin and “2014.” There were many photographs taken with folks standing by the sculpture.

I must say, without Kerry Sheehan of Rum Runner Silk Screen & Embroidery, I would not be able to keep this tradition going. As my co-organizer, he was instrumental in the final design, production and sale of our 2014 Jamestown 1st Day commemorative merchandise. If anyone missed the opportunity to purchase a shirt or hat, call me at 413-6928.

The Jamestown Police Department, Fire Department and EMS Division provided our traffic control. They were on scene and in the water to make sure everyone got out safely. The highway crew also provided traffic control, and cleared the ramp on New Year’s Eve.

This year’s fundraising for local charities will benefit the Jamestown Fire Department and EMS Division, for all their 30- plus years of being on the scene on New Year’s Day with the rescue truck, and with personnel in the water in their survival suits to keep all swimmers safe. The funds will also be earmarked for Save The Bay to be used for educational programs coordinated through the Jamestown Parks & Recreation Department.

In closing, I would like to thank the Town Council, especially Councilman Blake Dickinson, for his assistance with keeping the fire pits stoked; and Kevin Paicos, our new town administrator, for participating in this year’s event. I hope we can continue to keep this Jamestown tradition going for many more years at East Ferry.

Hopefully next year I will still have a boat in the water and the tide will not be low so I can do a repeat performance of my 2012 water skiing.

See you all again on Jan. 1, 2015.

Bob Bailey
East Shore Road

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