Letter: First peace rally a community effort

To the editor:

Greetings to all reading this letter. It is so true, life comes full circle. When I began this journey just a few months ago, it was at the Brown County Public Library that I wrote my three-page writing. To write the “in thanksgiving” letter, for all of the folks who, really, are God’s instruments, as well, is quite astonishing because I am, again at the Brown County Public Library. The kindness of those who work at this library is beyond measure because of their help in getting me started on the computer.

The Building Bridges grassroots organization would like to recognize and thank all those who volunteered and for their extraordinary efforts to have a peace rally April 16 at the Village Green. I, as organizer of the rally and chairperson of Building Bridges, would like to emphasize it is possible to accomplish what seems impossible when you have God at the helm.

The peace rally was to be sure the voices of all people are heard during this presidential campaign year, especially those rarely heard — the poor in spirit, lower-middle class, the poor, those who are trapped in poverty or one crisis away from it, those who are underprivileged, those who feel on the fringe of society, and sadly, those who fall through the cracks of society.

This peace rally was held in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of peace.

Let us remember we are all equal in the eyes of God. The way everything in the world seems headed, we must all try to let our voices be heard to keep our dreams alive. As the lyrics in “Eye of the Tiger”: Let us not lose our grip on all our dreams of the past (and let us add future, too.) We, as one people, must join forces in peace, and rise to the challenge, being absolutely sure those voices mentioned above are heard loud and clear.

How to accomplish this great task? With God at the helm, a peaceful way will be forthcoming in the next weeks. It will be the opposite of anything that has ever been done before. We will begin everything anew. Please stay tuned in for more information.

The turnout for the rally was much lower than expected; however, lots of good things happened.

First, I would like to thank God, the nuns at Our Lady of Grace Monastery, in particular Sr. Antoinette, my Oblate director for 20 years May 5, for giving me her blessing and for all the prayers of the monastery, including my prayer partner, Sr. Eugenia. I want to thank all of the Oblates of the monastery for their prayers and support, and my husband, Gene, for putting up with the house being somewhat of a mess these last weeks and for driving me many times for where I needed to be.

Thank you to Carol and Al of Touch of Silver, Gold and Old. What these two accomplished is mind boggling, considering they are running a business at the same time. They gave of their time, talent and treasure, and for their extraordinary efforts, a thank-you doesn’t hardly enough. Even their employee, Emily, was a great help in preparing the second flier. The four of us worked together, hand in hand, and yes, sometimes going crazy, too.

Let’s not forget Stetson, the shop dog, who helps keep the town inspired.

Thanks to Jenny for preparing the first flier and for all volunteers who handed out and mailed out fliers and put it on their social media pages. One particular friend was also with me in some of the darkest hours last year and for that I will always be grateful.

I believe that either through our volunteers or friends, or family and even people I met on the streets, that prayers were said in just about every single church in Brown County. We are also grateful for the prayers of The Mustard Seed Prayer Group, and for prayers said in other communities and states. Yes, prayer works.

We want to thank Chief Deputy Michael Morris and Deputy Greg Pittman, both from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Pittman was invited to speak at the rally concerning issues of road rage and the risks of distracted driving. He brought booklets for people to take home and share with their families.

Thank you to Julie Winn, president of the Brown County League of Women Voters, for providing information on how citizens can register to vote. The League generously donated lots of material for those who are not yet registered to vote. It is not too late to register for the general election in November. Voting is the best way to have voices heard.

We would also like to thank Frank and Brenda Green. She arranged for the containers and signage for the donations of tuna and peanut butter, and after the rally they, along with Denise Loomis, volunteer coordinator of the Salvation Army Church Food Pantry, picked up donated items. They were split evenly among St. Vincent De Paul Society, Mother’s Cupboard and the Salvation Army.

We would like to thank the Brown County Democrat for providing a bundle of the community resource guide, Connections 2016. Every household should have one of these guides. Personally, I would like to thank the Democrat staff for their support and guidance during the planning of the rally and I am grateful for the hard work that they all do, day in and day out to provide the community with such a wonderful newspaper.

We would also like to thank Lisa Smith, sign language instructor at our Career Resource Center. We wanted the words said at the rally also in sign language. When the rally gets on YouTube, it will be captioned. It is not easy for one person to sign for three hours. We were unsuccessful in finding a second or third person, so Lisa stepped up and did it for the entire three hours.

Thanks to Angie, who came to the rally and played her guitar and sang. Carol of Touch of Silver arranged for her to come and she had so much fun that she stayed for just about the entire rally.

Thanks to the Brown County Veterans of Foreign Wars for providing a seven-foot American Flag for the Pavilion and for donating many small flags for folks to take home. Thanks to Al of Touch of Silver for arranging this.

Touch of Silver provided two coolers full of bottled water and soft drinks. Thank you so much for doing that.

Thank you for the pep talk I got from a Grammy Award-winning band’s merchandising director. Yes, you are right, planning events like this, one can go to Plan A to Plan L in one day.

Literally in the wee hours before the rally began, I realized we had more than my husband and I could carry to the car. At the midnight hour, thank you Mr. Guffey for answering your cellphone and arranging to have Jenny arrive at our home at 8 a.m. Jenny, you did a wonderful job. Thank you.

Thanks to Paul and the Country Gospel Church in Gnaw Bone for loaning me his guitar, picks and case. Thanks for showing me how to hold the guitar, the different chords, etc. Enjoyed that so much. I will learn to play. I want to start out with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Thanks to John for loaning the camcorder so we could get and will get the rally on YouTube.

Ryan, I am so glad we are cool and all worked out so well.

Thanks to Cathy’s Corner and Austin of Insurance for their help and support.

Thanks to all the good folks in Brown County. It was a wonderful whirlwind these last two months and I will always be grateful that the first peace rally was held in Brown County’s Peaceful Valley.

Thanks again to the town of Nashville, and thanks to Brownie’s Restaurant in Bean Blossom, another special place where folks can sit, talk, have coffee, share ideas. Thanks for allowing me to display fliers there, along with other materials. Thanks to the good folks who work there who talked up the rally to everyone, including the tourists, which we all love.

It was nice to meet you Charlie.

Thank you, also, to Frank.

Special thank-you to all the folks who came to the rally. Thank you to the shops of Nashville which displayed the fliers. Some tourists stopped by because they saw the flier.

Peace and love,

Kathy Sepiol, Brown County


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