Ways to Honor Those Affected by the Station Nightclub Fire During its 20th Anniversary
Monday, February 20, 2023 will mark two decades since the devastating fire at the Station Nightclub in West Warwick claimed 100 lives and injured hundreds more.
As difficult as it may be to believe, Monday, February 20, will mark twenty years since the devastating fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick claimed 100 lives and injured hundreds more, both physically and mentally.
“That horrific fire ripped a hole in our community and left a deep scar on Rhode Island, one which we still heal every day,” Congressman Seth Magaziner recently stated while addressing the House in early February. “But Rhode Islanders are resilient, and we support one another in the face of tragedy.”
Today, I went to the Floor to mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic Station Night Club fire that took 100 lives and injured hundreds more.
The scar of that terrible night will never fully heal, but in RI we support one another and will keep alive the memories of those we lost. pic.twitter.com/fq65T3r5Jv
— Congressman Seth Magaziner (@Rep_Magaziner) February 9, 2023
One such way our community has rallied in the years since was with the formation of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation (SFMF) by family members and friends of those who died as a direct result of the Station fire. Since its inception in June of 2003, the volunteer-run foundation’s purpose has been to establish and maintain a memorial dedicated to their loved ones on the grounds where their lives were cut short. This year, the foundation has a number of events planned for the fire’s twentieth anniversary. Here are a few ways you can join them in honoring the victims, the survivors and their families.
Attend the Mass of Remembrance
A mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 19, 2023, at St. Kevin Parish in honor to commemorate those lost and injured in the fire. The mass will be presided by Coadjutor Bishop of Providence, the Most Reverend Richard Henning, DD, STD. The Warwick Police and Fire Chaplain, Reverend Robert L. Marciano, KHS, will serve as celebrant and homilist. Honored guests include Gina Russo, families of the victims and survivors, Governor Donald Carcieri, Lt. General Reginald Centracchio, Mayor Scott Avedisian, Commissioner/Colonel Steven Pare, and chaplains and members of the first responders’ communities. A reception will follow the in the parish’s Father O’Hara Hall. Saint Kevin Roman Catholic Parish, 333 Sandy Ln., Warwick, 401-737-2638, stkevin-stbenedict.org
Note: Thanks to outreach efforts from the Foundation, many other churches and religious sites across all denominations throughout the state are likewise holding masses on February 19 in honor of those lost in the fire. Contact your local place of worship to see if they are participating and/or for ceremony times.
Visit the Station Fire Memorial Park
While there is no official event scheduled for the actual anniversary on Monday, February 20, the Station Fire Memorial Park in West Warwick is open to the public if you are interested in paying your respects. Stanley Tree Service will raise a span of 100 lights at 6 p.m. and leave them lit for 100 minutes in honor of the 100 victims. The park is located at 211 Cowesett Ave. in West Warwick.
Participate in the Ride to Remember
On Saturday, May 20, the Station Fire Memorial Foundation will host a twentieth anniversary ‘Ride to Remember’ parade at Club Frontenac in West Warwick. Stay tuned here for participation and route details.
Attend the 20th Anniversary Remembrance
The SFMF is holding a twentieth anniversary memorial service at the Station Fire Memorial on Sunday, May 21, at 1 p.m. This date will also mark six years since the Memorial first opened in 2017. All are welcome to attend. Keep up with the Foundation’s website and the Station Fire Memorial Park Facebook for more details.
Make a Donation
If you are unable to attend the above events and are looking for a different way to support the Foundation, you can do so by buying a SFMF charm bracelet or keychain here, or by making a monetary donation here. All proceeds go towards maintaining the park in West Warwick, and any donation $50 or more will receive a complimentary SFMF pin.
Attend the 20th Anniversary Station Night Club Fire Scholarship Fundraiser
In addition to the events being put on by the Foundation, Rascals is welcoming the public to join them for a day of music, food, remembrance, and fundraising on Sunday, February 19, from 12–5 p.m. Food options include fettuccini alfredo, meatballs, sausage cacciatore and focaccia bread. Advance tickets are $20 for general admission or $35 for food included. At the door, tickets will cost $25 for general admission or $40 for food included. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Mike Fresolo, Beth Mosczynski and Stacy Angers Scholarship Funds. Learn more and buy ticketshere. Rascals, 70 James St., Suite 138, Worcester, MA, rascalsworcester.com
Hear and Learn Directly from Those Who Were Affected by the Fire
In commemoration of the tenth anniversary back in 2013, filmmaker David Bettencourt released a YouTube web series which contains seven episodes sharing experiences of people who were affected by the catastrophe (you can learn more about the series’ making here). All seven episodes have been edited into one complete video below.
Killer Show: The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert, written by local author John Barylick, details the chain of events that lead up to the incident and highlights how courage and heroism united the survivors, families and rescuers. It is also a powerful cautionary tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever thought twice about being in an overcrowded entertainment venue. Barylick was a lead attorney investigating and prosecuting wrongful death and personal-injury cases arising from the Station fire.
From the Ashes, Surviving the Station Nightclub Fire tells the story of survivor Gina Russo, a native Rhode Islander and mother of two children. She is also president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation. She offers readers an emotional story of hope and triumph that will amaze and inspire. The self-published book was co-written with Rhode Island-based writer Paul Lonardo. A portion of the proceeds from the book benefit burn care facilities.
We also recently caught up with Russo to learn her perspective on that night twenty years later. Read more here.