The Suffield League paid tribute to three community members close to their hearts during the annual Suffield Music Festival at Wingfoot Lake State Park on Saturday.
Plates and plaques were dedicated in memorial of the late Bruce Harrington, Samantha Rafferty and John Oswald, better known as Jani Lane, and will be placed on benches at Wingfoot Lake State Park this fall.
Suffield's Harrington and Rafferty helped out with the Suffield League and several Suffield Music Festivals over the years. They died in 2012, when a deer hit their motorcycle.
Oswald, a 1982 graduate of Field Local Schools, rose to fame under the name Jani Lane as the lead singer/songwriter of the hair metal group Warrant. The band, which saw international success, sold close to 10 million albums, had five top 40 Billboard hits, nine top 100 Billboard hits and five number 1 MTV music videos. Oswald perfomed more than 1,000 shows since age 11, and inspired many to live through his music. He died on Aug. 11, 2011.
Photos of Oswald, Harrington and Rafferty were mounted to poster board and were on display throughout the two-day festival for individuals to sign and write down memories, which will be given to the respective families for their own memories.
The idea was inspired with conversations between Suffield Music Festival Chairman Terry Ginn and Bruce Carpenter, a Wingfoot Lake State Park ranger. Ginn came up idea of creating "In Memoriam Benches" as they discussed ideas of donating seedling trees to information banners and benches for the State Park.
As a result, The Suffield League will be donating two benches at the end of the summer.
The Suffield Music Festival also featured a car show, games for kids and adults, crafts, a charity auction, food, music and more.