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Cabela’s donates life jackets to city

By Staff | May 2, 2012

Sistersville Ferryboat Captain Ed Mars and Board Member Phil Konopacky were on hand last Friday to accept a donation of 51 life jackets from Cabela’s in Wheeling. They are pictured above with Bud Forte, events coordinator for the retailer.

Cabela’s of Wheeling recently donated life jackets to the City of Sistersville for use on the ferryboat.

Bud Forte, events coordinator for Cabela’s, present members of the board and Ferryboat Captain Ed Mars with 51 life preservers last Friday.

The Sistersville Ferry Board is pleased to announce that Cabela’s of Wheeling will donate 51 life jackets to the Sistersville Ferry, Friday, April 27.

The retailer was contacted by board member Phil Konopacky. “Mr. Forte told me he was familiar with the Sistersville Ferry and its rich history, and that Cabela’s would be pleased to be involved in helping ensure the safety of its riders by donating the life jackets.”

The Sistersville Ferry is entering its 150th year of service and is the oldest operating ferry on the Ohio River.

The ferry is a not-for-profit organization and relies on tolls, grants, and donations to stay open and provide service to the citizens of West Virginia, Ohio, and the many tourists who cross the Ohio River. The ferry operates between Sistersville and Fly, Ohio.

The ferry employs two pilots, Mars and Donny Villono, and several deck-hands. The newly appointed Ferry Board oversees the operation on behalf of the city. The members include Charles Winslow, Terry Wiley, Phil Konopacky, and Carman Sillaman.

Recently, the state allocated $100,000 to underwrite operations for the Sistersville Ferry. Fox commented, “The State feels the ferryboat is something we need to keep. I do too. Its been here forever, it needs to stay here.”

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The fare from either side of the river is $4 per car, $3 per motorcycle, $1 per walk-on and $15 per heavy truck.

For more information, call the City Building at 304-652-6361; the boat phone at 304-771-9731; or Charles Winslow at 304-652-1312.