Boat Docks Dedicated At Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
On Friday, Sept. 25 the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce, along with the New Martinsville Riverfront Development Committee (RFD), celebrated the culmination of a goal set many years ago with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony presenting the Fireman’s Park and Boat Docks to the City of New Martinsville.
The RFD group had a vision to develop the river and return American Power Boat Association (APBA) sanctioned powerboat racing to the Ohio River. With the support of local organizations and the community, that vision has became a reality.
The new Fireman’s Park served as a prime viewing location and starting point for the New Martinsville Records Challenge and Regatta. The docks are now opened for public and recreational use.
Steve Pallisco, RFD Chairman, spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony honoring the memory of life-long resident, RFD member, and civic leader, Bryan Wilson.
“His dream was to reconnect people to the river, because Bryan believed that one of New Martinsville’s greatest assets was the Ohio River. Today Bryan’s dream comes true, and we know he is here with us to celebrate,” stated Pallisco.
Lucille Blum, previous mayor of New Martinsville, said riverfront development had always been near and dear to her heart. Blum shared childhood memories of her father’s love of river activity.
“We wanted to provide people a spectacular view of the place to enjoy. This is what happens when a community works together. We started this project over a decade ago, and now here we are. It’s a wonderful day. The Fireman’s Park will be in very capable hands with the Parks and Recreational Director, Beverly Gibb, at the helm.”
RFD and Regatta Board Member, Deanna McConaughey, acknowledged the contribution of her husband, Dan McConaughey, who joined the group at a pivotal time, his unique skill set was instrumental in completing the project. She also identified Amy Dieffenbauch as an asset to the committee when she joined during this time as well.
A moving addition to the park is a monument for a beloved young man in the community, Dillon James Jackson, whose tragic, untimely passing shocked and grieved the community. His parents lovingly beautified an area of the park dedicated to their son’s memory. The plaque that overlooks the memorial reads: “Our legacy is really the lives we touch, the inspiration we give, or the advice that we share, if even for a moment, getting them to think, cry, or laugh. More than anything, we are remembered for our smiles, the ones we share with our closet and dearest, and the ones bestowed on a total stranger, who needed it RIGHT THEN, and God put you there to deliver.”
Those who worked on this project hope this park brings people together in this very way.