Volunteer Newsletter - October 2011
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Long-time Staffer Tony Keras' Passing Felt Deeply at Sun Sounds
On September 16, 2011, Sun Sounds lost a dear friend and colleague when control room engineer and announcer Anthony "Tony" Keras passed away suddenly
from heart failure at age 64. Tony was employed by Sun Sounds for 29 years. In 1982, Tony joined the staff as the program director and then moved to control room engineer, a post he held until his passing. Tony hosted the program "Talk & Swap" on Sun Sounds for many years. He then produced and hosted "Sun Talk," which ran for 8 years. One could never mistake Tony's distinctive baritone voice over the air.
Tony was born and raised near Cleveland, Ohio. He lost his sight in college after a motorcycle accident. He continued to hone his on-air talents at the Kent State University college radio station. After graduating from Kent State, he served the Cleveland Radio Reading Service as the Operations Director before coming to Sun Sounds.
An avid music fan, Tony loved R&B and doo-wop, and owned a collection of 45s that numbered into the tens of thousands. In addition to music,
he loved his pet birds and the cats he fed in the neighborhood.
Tony is survived by Diana, his wife of 35 years.
He was a key member of the Sun Sounds family and will be greatly missed by staff, volunteers, and listeners alike.
Rest in peace, Tony.
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Job Opportunity: Yuma Coordinator
Sun Sounds of Arizona is seeking a part-time coordinator for its Yuma operations. The qualified candidate will help to identify and acquire funding and
community partners, assist in the provision of reading and information access locally, and assist in finding appropriate space for permanent offices
and studios in Yuma County.
For more information on the job posting, go to sunsounds.org/about/employment.
send an email to Bill Pasco with your resume with a cover letter which demonstrates your written communication skills and persuades Sun Sounds
to hire you over all other candidates.
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Strategic Plan Focus Group
We plan, we succeed. Sun Sounds of Arizona is in the process of putting together our five-year strategic plan. We are looking volunteers from anywhere in
the state to participate in one of two focus groups, one to be held in Tempe and one in Tucson. Your ideas and input will shape the roadmap to our
future. If you would like to be on a focus group contact Bill Pasco.
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"Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these
courageous couriers from the swift completion of their appointed
rounds" - Herotodus
I'll bet you never thought of yourself the way the Greeks thought of
the mail carriers back then. In many ways, you are like them, though,
acting as the courier who brings news and information swiftly to the
homes of people who would never have that help without your efforts. In
your case, your "appointed rounds" are the shifts on air and in the studio.
The messages you carry are from newspapers, magazines, and
In the next few weeks, Sun Sounds will be using the U.S. mail and asking
the audience to contribute to the station and help ensure that access
to information continues in Arizona. It may be that you'll be asked
to help us stuff the letters, cassettes, and Braille copies into
envelopes, label them, and get them in the mail. We hope you'll say
yes if at all possible.
Individual giving is what supplies us with the unrestricted income to
keep the lights on, the copier filled with paper, the magazines coming, and
the computers ready to record shows. Unrestricted individual gifts are vital because unlike grants, with them Sun Sounds can cover the cost of daily operations, staffing, utilities, rent, and other germane parts of running a charitable business.
So, should you happen to be asked to assist in mailing our annual
letters, we hope you'll pitch in. We've engineered the letters to be
as cost-effective as possible to keep our mailing and printing costs
as low as we can. Your labor to help mail them is in keeping with Sun
Sounds' overall thrifty attitude, and we appreciate it.
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- Veterans Day - Friday, November 11: Offices are closed, weekend schedule
- Thanksgiving - Thursday, November 24: Morning paper only.
- Day after Thanksgiving - Friday. November 25: Full time staff off, operations as usual.
- Christmas Eve – Saturday, December 24: Holiday programming beginning at 1pm.
- Christmas Day - Sunday, December 25: Morning paper, holiday programming for rest of the day, studios closed
- New Years Eve - Saturday December 31: Regular schedule
- New Years Day - Sunday January 1: Paper recorded in morning, studios closed
If you are receiving this newsletter in print and would like to receive it via e-mail please email Andrea to let her know.
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Flagstaff: Eleanor's Desk
We have been very fortunate at the Flagstaff station to have an abundance of new readers who have joined us in our efforts to get local information out
to people who can’t read anymore.
Welcome to our new volunteers who are:
Brian Billideau, Joseph Burke, Lisa Carroll, Lynn Edwards, Regina Glass, Diane Hope, Karen Lieb Asa Logan, Justin McGrew, Jeanne Santillan,
Kelli Sieczkowski, Colin Stanfield, Brittany Ward, Amada Willingham. We are very pleased to have you.
Some are leaving us for the winter and we hope to see them again in the summer, when it warms up.
Our half-hour weekly interview show, North Country Conversations, has a new host, Brian Billideau, who joins Colleen Tucker, Judy O’Dea, and
Pam Tharp in putting together a roundup of interesting people discussing topics about things happening in and around Flagstaff. The subjects of
some recent shows have been foster homes for pets waiting to be adopted’; new rehab services for recovering cats and dogs; how Flagstaff Brewery
got started in historic downtown; “staying healthy” tips from a local chiropractor; and a preview of open studios and local artists. Upcoming topics
include motorcycling around the world and interviews with the Flagstaff mayoral candidates. This show is a peek into the heart of Flagstaff and who
makes it tick.
It’s October, the month of Halloween and zombie movies, one of the most famous being, Night of the Living Dead, starring Judy O’Dea. Judy reads,
interviews, and engineers for Sun Sounds in Flagstaff as a volunteer. This month, Judy is in demand travelling around the country to conventions and
all events where horror, zombies, and her cult classic movie are celebrated. Happy travels, Judy.
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By Amada Willingham
Remember those teenage longings? The ones where you were the star and “everyone” looked at you with awe and respect. One of my teenage longings
I remember evolved by surreptitiously listening to the radio after I had gone to bed at night. My favorite show was DJ’d by “Lonesome Gal,” a romantic
figure to a young castle-builder. Her smoky voice gave rise to whimsical imaginings of celebrity life. As her husky tones went out over the radio waves,
my young self dreamed. I, too, could be on the radio and send my voice far and wide. That could be the perfect way for a shy girl to stay semi-anonymous
and yet fulfill her latent desire to somehow be in the public eye, thereby gaining freedom, fan letters, and, of course, lots of money.
But alas, like so many fantasies born of teenage angst, that particular dream didn’t manifest; at least, not then. Life intervened with education,
marriages, children, and careers, until the dream was buried in the deepest recesses of my subconscious, seemingly never to be revived. Until, long after
retirement, there came a serendipitous chance meeting in a parking lot. “I volunteer at Sun Sounds,” said Charlene, a new acquaintance of the moment.
“What’s that?” I asked.
She explained and the specter of that teenage fancy rose anew. Call Eleanor Mooney, she said, and wrote the number down for me; I called, I auditioned,
I began to read. It wasn’t anything like the dreams of long ago. My voice, unused to long sessions of talking, was gravely rather than smoky and husky
like Lonesome Gal’s. My tongue, seemingly adequate to the task of articulating, suddenly took on a life of its own, stumbling over the most innocuous
words and tangling itself helplessly. But thankfully, with time and experience, the voice mellowed and the tongue became docile. I located voice warm-up
exercises on the internet that trained my tongue to various combinations of words and sounds.
Try these: “Engineer Ethelbert wrecked the express at the end of Elm Street,” and another, “Oddly, the ominous octopus remained calm.” Can you sense your
tongue becoming more limber? Slowly, I began to feel competent at the task. Then, suddenly the summer was over and the snowbird itch to fly south began to
But summer will come again and the mountains with their crystal champagne air will call and I will have another chance to hone my new
Lonesome Gal skills.
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What is “Print Disability?”
A Closer Look at the Term
Certainly, radio reading and information access services like Sun Sounds of Arizona serve people with vision impairments. But we use the term
“print disability” to describe an eligible audience including much more than vision loss.
According to the Reading Rights Coalition, a print-disabled person is “a person who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical,
perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability.”
In addition to people with vision loss, Sun Sounds serves those who fall into the other five categories of “print disability.” We know listeners who
have arthritis and find it difficult to hold a newspaper. Many of our Veterans return home from deployment with traumatic brain injuries that make
understanding the printed word impossible.
We also serve people with temporary print disabilities who are patients in several area hospitals. Patients can hear the news and information on
Sun Sounds on their in-room television.
With a Sun Sounds tuner installed, hospitals grab our radio signal from the airwaves and pipe it into their internal television channel as the audio
portion. Text or slides of community information serve as the visual portion of the signal.
Hospitals where Sun Sounds is heard include all the Banner Health hospitals in the Valley of the Sun, Del Webb Memorial, Good Samaritan hospitals in
Phoenix, St. Luke’s, the Carl T. Hayden Veterans Administration Hospital, Maricopa Medical, Scottsdale Memorial, Vencor Hospital, and Yuma Regional
If you happen to visit a hospital that does not have Sun Sounds of Arizona installed, please ask for the name of the Community Relations Manager and
pass it along to us. Access to information is the key to a productive and self-directed life. If you know of someone with a print disability, please tell them about this wonderful resource!
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Tucson: Mitzi's Desk
Jack Trustman Obituary - 1/1/1923 - 8/29/2011
Born in Keego Harbor, Michigan to Lena and Irving Trustman, Jack succumbed to illness at the Tucson Veterans Affairs Hospital on August 29. Jack
graduated from the University of Michigan before marrying Yetta Hoptman, whose death, along with brothers, Charles and Fred, and sister, Pauline,
preceded his. One of the many who indeed made his generation the greatest, Jack served in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, and was
decorated with two Bronze Stars for his valiant service. After moving to Tucson in 1959, Jack opened his own advertising agency with partner Earl
Wettstein, which he ran for 40 years before retiring. He then became a substitute teacher and volunteered as a radio show host at Sun Sounds of Arizona
where he worked under the moniker "Cactus Jack.” Never one to let the grass grow under his feet (unless in his backyard), he joined and became the
oldest member of the multi-generational Foothills Philharmonic Symphony, where he played violin. Other joys included travel, writing, and western novels, and especially the company of his two surviving daughters, Mindy Evers of Tucson and Aviva Trustman of Bisbee and his grandson, Grant Evers. Jack is also survived by his partner, Ray Janice Slovack, Mark Evers, and John Frazier. Forever humble and gracious always, Jack will be toasted often and remembered eternally by those lucky enough to call him friend.
Herb Erickson Obituary
Volunteer Herb Erickson from Tucson passed away September 13. Herb volunteered for Sun Sounds for 2 years reading the Arizona Daily Star. He was a
great help with the Great Tucson Beer Festival by working alongside volunteer Don Philips in securing food vendors for the festival He loved to tell
us all jokes and would always entertain us with one after the paper, before he left for the day. We will miss Herb and his sense of humor.
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Welcome New Volunteers
David Mace, Michael Newland, Robert O’Mara
Thank You to the Tucson Advisory Board
for all your hard work on the Great Tucson Beer Festival. It was a great event for the Tucson affiliate. On October 8 we made over $100,000, more than
two-thirds of our local budget.
Thank you to the volunteers in the ticket booths and all the other volunteers who helped make the 25th Anniversary event such a success.
I want to wish Happy Holidays to all the Sun Sounds staff and the volunteers. Can you believe 2011 is almost over?
Letters from Molly
(Molly Stockton continues as Volunteer Coordinator for Tucson, working from her home town, Southampton, southern England, about 7,000
We've taken on two new volunteer substitute readers: Karen Wiley and Robert O'Mara, who are standing by to read when needed. We've also had several
enquiries from potential volunteers to whom Molly has sent out welcoming emails with information.
The UK is now seven hours ahead of Arizona. That means that those who send emails in the afternoon or evening in Tucson usually won't have them read
until the next morning in Southampton.
In case anyone is wondering, I’m not suffering yet from the English climate. Southern England has been fairly mild for the time of year, but she misses
her friends in Arizona. Thank goodness for email!
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Tempe: Programming & Volunteers
Roger Ferland , Pavle Milic, Xavier Stiles, Terri Thomas, Billy Wiersch
With new readers, veteran readers, and snowbirds alighting, the recording booths are filling up. Please call and reserve a booth in advance. If you don’t reserve a booth, there is no guarantee you will get your favorite booth --or any booth-- if it’s crowded. Just call 480-774-8300, leave us a message if no one answers, and we will set you up in a booth.
Summertime Notes from Volunteers
by volunteer Diane Gardiner
“Last week, I was able to go on a raft trip on the Salmon River with nine others. HJin was our shuttle driver. It was a little disconcerting to realize I was old enough to be everyone's mother or grandmother, except for one guy. But I had a great time; I would go again in a heartbeat. It was wild to drop down into holes in the water and to have the waves crashing over your head as you come out again. We didn't flip over even once. The guy in the canoe did that several times.
This morning, I put up green beans from the garden. It was 49 degrees but should go up to 75 or 80 degrees today. Next week is supposed to be a little warmer. Sometimes, we already begin fall weather in early September, but all is late this year.
See you in January.”
Sun Sounds Radio Theater
Mark Moorehouse returned to the studios of Sun Sounds to produce a special presentation of Shakespeare’s “Measure by Measure.” Mark assembled his cast
and, after a brief rehearsal, recorded them in the Sun Sounds studios under the guidance of Mike McFadden and Roy Weinberg. Look for "Measure by Measure" to air in January.
Welcome back Snowbirds!
I look forward to seeing everyone again and hearing about your summer adventures. If you would write a note for this newsletter
on the theme, “What I did on my summer vacation,” we would be tickled! Please submit it to Andrea