good work(s) do NOT go unnoticed

Catholic540AM StAnn Oct2019 Peter K. O'Connell

Catholic 540-AM Divine Mercy Radio broadcasting live from St. Ann Catholic Church in Clayton, NC in October 2019 (l-r) Pastor of St. Ann’s Fr. Peter Grace; Catholic 540-AM Volunteer Director of Programming & Production Peter K. O’Connell and Divine Mercy Radio Chief Engineer Keith Flanary

We each have talents to share.

Hopefully, when our talents are good enough, people pay us and we make a living. I’ve been fortunate in that vein with my voiceover work since about 1982.

Maybe you believe, as I do, that when you have good fortune in life that many do not (making money, having a job etc.), we should try to give back to our communities in whatever ways we think can have the most positive impact.

I’m not taking just about our financial contributions…although those are great!

This kind of contribution is about that kind of community work where we are doing the work…whatever that means for each of us…based on the charity or organization we each support.

Wherever we exercise our extra efforts, our good works do not go unnoticed.

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Founded in 1942, the highly respected Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives gathered their active Past Presidents for this 2013 photo. 

Maybe similar to your experience, my community work started after college, as a member or sometimes chairman of a volunteer board. My community work has supported professional, civic, educational and Catholic groups who requested my help. Looking back from today to about 1987, there have been a lot of groups.

Quality not quantity is the main thing, though, and my work helped each of those groups in some way; I certainly felt good doing the work. Yet I admit, as I got older and had a family, I cut back on my charity activities…the two main reasons being time and I was just tired, complete with a kind of “been there, done that” attitude. Decades can to that to a person.

In 2016, when I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina (having lived in Buffalo, NY since birth), I realized that I needed to start over in a number of ways, including my community work.

Catholic 540 AM Divine Mercy Radio On-Air Pledge Drive Spring 2019

Live on the air during the Catholic 540-AM Divine Mercy Radio Pledge Drive in Spring 2019. (l-r) Divine Mercy Radio’s Volunteer Director of Programming & Production and Pledge Drive Host Peter K. O’Connell with co-host John Dornan, Director of Communications for the Diocese of Raleigh

Having done some volunteer voiceover work for a Catholic radio station in Buffalo, I decided to see if Raleigh had a Catholic radio station. I found Divine Mercy Radio. This was 2016 and Divine Mercy Radio was broadcasting on just a pair of low-powered FM’s at the time (WSHP and WFNE). They were broadcasting programming from two national radio networks: EWTN Global Catholic Radio and Ave Maria Radio. But my new Raleigh Catholic radio friends were on a mission to grow and I was up for the ride.

They needed voiceover and radio help…no one at the station had professional radio experience. But they had heart and a can-do, no-quit spirit. I began overseeing the on-air production work for the two stations. In February of this year, when the secured the AM-540 frequency they asked if I would also volunteer to oversee this 10,000 watt radio station’s programming too. WETC-AM became Catholic 540-AM • Divine Mercy Radio and our team was off to the races!

This radio station is 100% listener supported (by its own choice). Our friends at the Diocese of Raleigh have kindly endorsed us since we started but they do not fund us. We are an independent radio apostolate.

Catholic 540-AM Divine Mercy Radio Raleigh North Carolina

Divine Mercy Radio Chief Engineer Keith Flanary, Board Chair Betty Rogosich and Volunteer Director of Programming & Production Peter K. O’Connell during the Spring 2019 On-Air Pledge Drive

With a very dedicated group of my fellow volunteers (nobody is getting paid) the station has achieved a great deal in only 8 months. This includes successful live on-air pledge drives, on-site remotes at parishes and community events (I got to host both the drives and remotes, which is great fun) and many other events. All this with little more than duct tape and chewing gum (well, maybe a little more…but not much more).

Volunteering at the station selfishly allows me to achieve two things: participate in the greatest parts of radio without the corporate drama that can sometimes accompany such a gig (sans drama, radio is still one of the best gigs ever) and also to use my particular talents to grow a really worthy volunteer enterprise.

And as I said, our good works don’t go unnoticed.

The radio station board (I’m just a volunteer, not a board member) asked that I represent Catholic 540-AM at the 20th Annual EWTN Catholic Radio Conference in Alabama. EWTN Radio has over 375 radio network affiliates, many more established and significantly larger than Divine Mercy Radio.

In addition to insightful education and the sharing of best practices among attendees during the national conference, the EWTN Radio Network also recognizes the best work among their radio affiliates for on-air production. There are only three categories, winners take all.

Peter K. O'Connell, Volunteer, Divine Mercy Radio

Volunteer Director of Programming & Production Peter K. O’Connell accepts the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Crystal Microphone Award for Best Affiliate Top of the Hour ID for Catholic 540-AM Divine Mercy Radio

Catholic 540-AM • Divine Mercy Radio took home the Crystal Microphone for Best Affiliate Top of The Hour ID.

Think about that for just a moment.

375 EWTN U.S. Radio affiliates (many long established with very talented radio pros), only 3 possible awards to win and Divine Mercy Radio in Raleigh/Durham takes home the hardware.

We have been on the air for only EIGHT MONTHS and we snagged a very prestigious national award from the largest religious media network in the world.

We don’t do all this volunteer radio work for for awards or accolades.

But this national recognition IS encouraging, as well as humbling, for all of us.

PLAY THE AWARD WINNING TOP OF THE HOUR ID.

 

EWTN Foundress Mother Mary Angelica was famous for saying, “Unless you are willing to do the ridiculous, God will not do the miraculous.” I don’t know if this award is miraculous but given what has been accomplished by our team just since this past February, it feels a bit ridiculous in the best possible and most complimentary way for EVERYONE involved.

WETC_logo_Catholic_540AM_DivineMercyRadioEach and every volunteer at Divine Mercy Radio won this award because without their work in so many areas, there can be no Top of The Hour ID and no award to win…because there would be no radio station.

WE ALL won.

OUR good works didn’t go unnoticed.

Neither will yours.

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