Janesville56.5°

Radio spots replace sunrise gathering

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ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
December 29, 2007
— “It is possible to live in peace.”

—Gandhi


Martha Pearson submitted this quote while sharing her thoughts on world peace.


But instead of speaking at the YWCA’s annual New Year’s Eve sunrise peace gathering, she recorded her thoughts for listeners of Lite 107.3 radio.


The YWCA of Rock County is partnering with the Fort Atkinson radio station in an effort to reach more people with messages of peace, said Allison Hokinson, YWCA community relations director.


“We were seeing declining numbers in attendance of the (peace) gathering that started in 1985,” Hokinson said.


Attendance at the sunrise gathering used to be about 35 but had dwindled to only a half dozen the last couple years, she said.


“People’s lives are just getting busier,” Hokinson said.


So YWCA changed its format.


“Peace still is part of our mission, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t downplaying the spreading of the message of peace, and we’re not by reaching lots more people through this new format,’’ Hokinson said.


The new idea—people sharing thoughts, stories and hopes for peace on the WSJY morning show with host Jennifer Maxwell—has been embraced by the community, Hokinson said.


In addition to recorded messages being broadcast on the radio, the messages will be posted at www.ywca.org/rockcounty. and www.lite1073.com through Saturday, Jan. 12.

“The response has been great and surpassed our expectations,” Hokinson said.


“We got responses from people who normally don’t attend (the sunrise peace gathering) so that’s excellent,” she said.


Hokinson expects even more people to share their thoughts.


Now that Christmas is over, people are thinking about the New Year and the war on terrorism, she said.


The new format also fits with the YWCA’s initiative to reach more people, Hokinson said.


The YWCA probably won’t return to a sunrise peace gathering.


“We would go back if we didn’t think it was working, but we’re confident it would grow. This has been a launching springboard.’’


THOUGHTS ON PEACE


To arrange a recording of your thoughts for broadcast on Lite 107.3 radio, contact Jennifer at JMaxwell@nrgmedia.com or call her at (920) 563-9329. To submit written thoughts, visit www.lite1073.com, where thoughts are posted. Messages also are posted at www.gazettextra.com, www.ywca.org/rockcounty.

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