Vote for Plainfield's bravest - and their charities
By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Mon., Aug. 1, 2011
Karleen Daly-St. Jean is used to photographing brides, grooms, flower girls and bridesmaids. But when she started putting together photographs for a calendar for the Plainfield Business Association, she went into unfamiliar territory. She found herself at railroad tracks, posing people in front of big trucks, grooming a dog for a shot instead of photographing a groom. Squad cars and rescue vehicles became as important as reception halls for backdrops. That is because she has been shooting photographs for “Plainfield's Bravest,” a 2012 calendar featuring 12 fire fighters and police officers from town.
“Our town needs to really take pride in these people,” Daly-St. Jean said.
The PBA left it to the fire and police chiefs to pick the 12 people whose shots will grace the months of the year. But the public will be able to vote for who should grace the cover.
The vote isn't just for the bravest face. The calendar cover winner will receive $1,000 towards the charity of his choice.
Some businesses in Plainfield will have the calendar shots and paper ballots available for voting, and there is a Facebook page for people to vote online. “We want friends and family and the public to vote,” Daly-St. Jean said. The last day of the vote is Aug. 6 at Plainfield's Family Day. Voting will end at 3 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 4:30 p.m.
Daly-St. Jean has a new appreciation for the men she spent several weeks working with. On several occasions, her photo shoots had to be canceled or rescheduled while officers responded to the calls that came in. “I had no idea they were so busy,” she said.
On a day that reached close to 100 degrees, she photographed 19-year-old Eddie Loomis wearing every piece of equipment he had, in order to show what fire crews wear when responding to fires.
She shot the men in front of trucks and patrol cars. Kenneth Davidson, Jr. posed with his partner, Riker, a German shepherd. Mario Arriaga taped off a section of railroad track in crime scene tape for his shot.
Daly-St. Jean gave the men the opportunity to pose with their families. “I live right next to Central Village Firehouse,” she said. “I know these men and women bring their kids all the time. They have meetings. Their children become part of the firehouse. It shows the emotional connection firemen have.” David Willard Jr. took her up on that offer and posed with his son.
The men and the charities they have chosen to support are listed below:
1. David Willard, Jr. - Atwood Hose FD (charity: Atwood Hose)
2. Kenneth Davidson, Jr. w/ Riker - Plainfield PD (charity: Plainfield PD K9 Unit)
3. Brian Torrence - Plainfield FD (charity: Project PIN)
4. Paul Gadue - Plainfield PD (charity: Relay for Life)
5. Chris Richard - Plainfield FD (charity Plainfield FD)
6. Mario Arriaga - Plainfield PD (charity: Relay for Life)
7. Kevin Wells - Plainfield FD (charity: Project PIN)
8. James Soler - Plainfield PD (charity: Central Village Fire Dept)
9. Jim Machamer - Atwood Hose FD (charity: Relay for Life)
10. Joe Sharkey - Plainfield PD (charity Will's Way)
11. Eddie Loomis - Plainfield FD (charity: Project Pin)
12. Deputy Chief Michael Surprenant - Plainfield PD (charity: Wendy's Place, DKH)