Paddlers transform lake into a moonlight spectacle

By Lauri Voter - Staff Writer
Stafford - posted Thu., Aug. 18, 2011
The Lions Club's Moonlight Paddle event on Aug. 12 was very popular, with approximately 200 kayaks, canoes and paddlers launching from the shore at dusk. Photos by Lauri Voter.
The Lions Club's Moonlight Paddle event on Aug. 12 was very popular, with approximately 200 kayaks, canoes and paddlers launching from the shore at dusk. Photos by Lauri Voter.

At dusk on Aug. 12, passersby along Staffordville Lake could catch a glimpse of dozens of kayaks and canoes as they bobbed along, covering most of the water's surface. Resembling something like lifeboats fleeing a sinking ship, the craft and their crews were actually participants in the Stafford Lions Club's Moonlight Paddle.

Now in its second year, with the goal of becoming an annual event, the paddle attracted nearly 200 participants, who launched from the shore of the lake in their colorful craft in conjunction with the full moon of August, creating an awesome spectacle.

The purpose of the Moonlight Paddle is to “offer an event for the community. It's a free event, it's a beautiful lake. It allows people to get easy access to kayak. Normally they wouldn't have that. People love it,” said Dennis Dadalt, the club's treasurer. The Lions Club coordinates with the Staffordville Fire Department to carry out the event.

Additional Moonlight Paddle activities included a fundraising raffle, in which Willington resident Carol Riordan won a kayak package. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and beverages were available for a donation. Proceeds will “go to the Lions Club, basically to be used for our community projects,” said Jerry Baggish, president of the Stafford Lions Club.

Those projects include issuing scholarships, as well as providing eyeglasses, food baskets and Christmas gifts for the needy. The Lions Club supports many Stafford organizations, and also donates to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, Fidelco Guide Dogs and diabetes-focused organizations. The origins of the club are affiliated with Helen Keller, and much of its focus is to support visual impairment and blindness causes.

The Lions Club is looking for new members. For more information about the club, its projects and causes, or to join, contact Jerry Baggish at jbaggish@msn.com or 860-684-5367.

Contact Lauri Voter with comments and story ideas at lvoter@remindernet.com.


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