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Volunteer of the Year:|
It's a good thing for MAIN and WPVM that Edwin Shealy retired when he did. And it's even more fortunate that he apparently doesn't have any interest in taking it easy.
Edwin's energetic service coordinating the construction of WPVM's new downtown studio has been an inspiration to everyone involved in MAIN's low power FM radio project. His work is speeding a daunting task along, and for that we are proud to name Edwin our Volunteer of the Year for 2003.
Seeing the hours Edwin puts in with tools in hand (not to mention more time at home coordinating projects), it's tempting to consider the 600 square foot space on Haywood Street "The Studio that Edwin Built". But Edwin himself would never see it that way, focusing as he does on the many other volunteers who have drawn up designs, torn out walls, screwed in framing and pitched in on the long list of jobs it takes to turn an old storefront into a modern broadcasting facility.
"Volunteers of all descriptions - young, old, rich, poor, retired, employed, unemployed, skilled, semi-skilled, unskilled, male, female - have come out of the proverbial woodwork to help build the studio," Edwin said. "In the course of demanding work, friendships have formed, skills have sharpened, knowledge has passed, and consciousness has been raised--oh, and the place has gotten built! This has made WPVM truly a COMMUNITY radio station, from the ground up!"
Those who have worked with Edwin, though, credit him with turning a thousand different tasks into one achievable and inspiring goal. From meeting with inspectors to gathering input to rallying volunteers to swinging a hammer, Edwin handles it all with a smile. Fellow volunteer Bill Hufnagle says Edwin sets a high standard for himself and always lives up to it.
"Edwin Shealy is one of the most dedicated, enthusiastic, detail oriented yet concise volunteers I have ever worked with," Billy says. "His tireless work ethic and the fabulous results he achieves are a shining example to all. I would write more in his praise but after a two-day road trip I have six emails from Edwin to answer and I don't want to be the one to slow him down!"
Though it appears to be a natural calling for him (and perhaps it is), Edwin came to MAIN and WPVM not because of a desire to build just a studio, but because of his desire to help build a real community radio station. A retired federal employee who volunteered for the Pacifica radio network station in Washington D.C., Edwin says he dedicates so much time to WPVM because the station will become an integral part of the Asheville and WNC community.
"WPVM will be a strong voice for progressive values in western North Carolina, and a powerful means of raising peoples' consciousness. It will promote democratic values and social, economic, and environmental justice, and help build community through information and participation. These are core values for me!"
WPVM is grateful for Edwin's tireless efforts, said Wally Bowen, executive director of MAIN. "Edwin is that rare volunteer who combines passion, commitment, attention to detail, conscientiousness, and good will," Bowen said. "The various volunteers and MAIN staff who have had the pleasure of working with Edwin echo this sentiment."
Edwin exemplifies the spirit of MAIN, WPVM and community radio in general. On behalf of all the staff, volunteers and friends who have benefited from his dedication - many thanks to Edwin Shealy, our Volunteer of the Year.
Editor's Note: If you would like to help foster a sense of community in WNC, make new friends, and have a shot at becoming our next volunteer hero, please visit the MAIN Volunteer Page to check out current volunteer opportunities. Volunteer opportunites for WPVM are at www.wpvm.org.