Paddlers enjoy moonlight outing on Staffordville Lake
By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Stafford - posted Wed., Aug. 28, 2013
The Stafford Lions Club welcomed water-lovers with kayaks and canoes to its fourth annual Moonlight Paddle at Staffordville Lake on Aug. 23. Boaters came from all over the region to participate in this event.
“We have approximately 250 people taking part in this paddle. Each year the event gets bigger and bigger,” said Jerry Baggish, a member of the Stafford Lions Club and organizer of the Moonlight Paddle. “The paddle is free to anyone that wants to participate. The Lions Club is offering free hot dogs, chips and drinks to all the people that come out to join in the community togetherness. This is a great way for people to bond and have a great time as we say goodbye to the summer.”
Since there is no public boat launch at the lake, just a public beach, this is the one day a year that people are permitted to launch their kayaks or canoes from the beach. Trucks and SUVs arrived loaded with equipment and vessels.
“The Stafford Fire Department has donated their time to help us with all the traffic commotion as well as lighting a bonfire for the paddlers to watch for when returning to the beach,” said Baggish. “We owe them a big thanks.”
Allyson Salamon and Ryan Rossi took their maiden voyage with the Stafford paddlers this year. “This is my first Moonlight Paddle. I can’t wait for the sun to go down,” said Salamon. “My friend Ryan told me about it from an article in the ReminderNews.”
Rossi added, “When I read the article, I knew we had to be a part of it. I knew it would be fun.”
Samantha Shegogue was recruited by her father, a Stafford Lions Club member, to help with the registration of paddlers and to lend a hand with the raffle for a kayak kit. All proceeds went to the Lions Club. “This is how we make some money to be able to do things like this and offer free food and drinks to the people,” said Baggish. “Every year has been a success. The past couple of years, people who live around the lake have lit campfires in their yards by the water and blasted music so the paddlers could hear it. It’s a great time for all.”
Jeremy Figella was a paddler last year and was back for another night of fun. “I liked it so much last year, that I took friends and family this year. It was a lot of fun,” said Figella. “I’m sure they will love it as much as I did.”