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“Don’t give me any credit,” says Sam Falcone. “Give the credit to the Lions Club.” | (Christine Corrigan / The Westerly Sun)

If you like the fountain at the park, you can thank Sam Falcone


WESTERLY — Sam Falcone would do just about anything for the Town of Westerly.

“As long as it’s for the good of the town,” said the 90-year-old Narragansett Avenue resident and former town councilman. Falcone served as president of the local Lions Club when its members raised the money necessary to refurbish the library’s iconic Wilcox Memorial Fountain.

On Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m., the town — along with members of the Lions Club, library officials and friends of Wilcox Park — will have the chance to do a little something for Sam Falcone.

“We’re having a rededication of the fountain,” said Wilcox Park manager Alan Peck, “and we’re hoping it will be all about Sam.”

The fountain — which features a bronze classical figure of a woman holding a large scallop shell — greets visitors arriving from the Broad Street entrance to the park. Surrounded by a bluestone-paved octagonal granite basin designed by the notable landscape architect Arthur A. Shurcliff, the monument has been featured in many a prom photo, wedding picture and magazine article over the years and was designed by Boston sculptor John Francis Paramino. During the latter part of the last century, however, the fountain had fallen into disrepair.

That’s when the Westerly Lions Club, under the leadership of Sam Falcone, stepped in. The group took on a major fundraising campaign raised close to $65,000, enough to restore the landmark and put some into a savings account for future repairs.

“We worked real hard,” said Falcone. “We had a committee of about 20 Lions and we worked hard. It was a big project.”

Falcone said the committee involved the whole community in the process.

“We had a big sign with a thermometer on it that we put in front of the library so everybody could see,” he said.

“Donald Bonner was alive back then and he re-pointed the flagstone,” Falcone recalled. “And Isaac Smith was the project manager.”

Peck said: “It was a major renovation. The park and the library are very grateful to have the Lions Club look after the fountain.”

Peck, who has been working at the park since 2001, said he had the pleasure of working with Falcone on a project involving Shakespeare in the Park.

“He played the role of construction liaison,” Peck said. Working with Falcone, he said, was a very positive experience.

When the fountain lost its pump and motor last summer — equipment essential to keeping the water circulating and spraying — the Lions stepped in again.

“The Lions look at the fountain as ‘theirs,’” said Lions Club President Bob Hatfield. “So when this project came up, the members wanted to take it on.”

“The Lions of today want to continue with the legacy established back when the Lions of yesterday first took this on,” said Hatfield.

“It’s a wonderful park and a wonderful fountain,” he added. “But this is really more about Sam Falcone and all he’s done.”

Falcone said he hopes to be there for the rededication of the fountain but has no interest in being singled out.

“Don’t give me any credit,” said the nonagenarian firmly. “Give the credit to the Lions Club.”

nbfusaro@thewesterlysun.com



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