God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.
It was a storm that was already being described as "one of the worst on record" before it had even caught the attention of the national media. With almost unbelievably high waves and winds exceeding 60-80 miles per hour, it might well have been declared a category 3 hurricane, had its massive footprint fallen further south.
In mid-November, Western Alaska was hit with a massive Bering Sea storm. Thanks to your support, we not only weathered the worst of it but also helped our thousands of listeners to do the same. Here are just a few photos and stories from that incredible week:
On Tuesday, November 8, with our emergency and regional weather forecasts easily exceeding 15 minutes (they're normally 3-4), businesses, schools, and other organizations in Western Alaska begin to announce closures. KNOM is a clearing house for these announcements; long before the storm reaches its apex, morning show host Matty Guiffré can cover our main broadcast board with all the notices we've received.
On Tuesday night, after the City of Nome urges coastal residents to evacuate, some seek shelter at the city's recreation center. KNOM staff and volunteers carefully drive through white-out conditions to report at the shelter, where news volunteer Ben Matheson does a late-night interview with city employee Jeremy Master.
We thank you again for making our mission possible at this crucial time: a moment literally of life and death for our region. With your help, we stayed on the air and relayed emergency information to our listeners.
Don't give God instructions. Just report for duty!
Just hours before we went to press, we were saddened to receive news of the death of one of KNOM's spiritual advisors: Father Vincent Beuzer, SJ, who passed away suddenly in Spokane, Washington the evening of Sunday, November 13, 2011.
Father Vince (at left in the photo) shared the position of KNOM spiritual advisor with Father Armand Nigro (right), a fellow Jesuit and a longtime partner in leading retreats across the state of Alaska, from its urban centers to its rural fringes. Fr. Vince was renowned for his energy and enthusiasm for sharing and teaching Catholic spirituality.
We hope you'll join us in praying for Father Vince, his family, and fellow clergy.
To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.
To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.
Thanks to your support, the KNOM Radio Mission has changed lives: not just those of our listeners, but also, those of our staff.
This month, we feature someone who may be familiar to longtime Static readers: Amy (Flaherty) Gorn (pictured above), who served at KNOM from 2002 to 2008:
Every KNOM volunteer has their unique story of how they heard about the award-winning station in far-flung Nome, Alaska and of the path that led them on a northward plane. As I prepared myself for that journey, my grandparents simply asked, "What if it doesn't work out?" My response: "I've made a commitment, and I'll see that through as best as I can."
It was probably all of a week in Nome, far away from any familiar support system, and I knew the year would be extraordinary. The work, atmosphere and people of KNOM developed my career skills and also granted me a wealth of life experiences.
Two volunteer years flew by, and I couldn't envision myself anywhere but with KNOM. That's when Tom Busch – general manager at the time – offered me the chance to deepen my commitment with a permanent staff position as KNOM's public affairs director. It was confirmation I was where I was meant to be.
After six years in Nome – and now three years since relocating within Alaska – I've learned even more about myself through my mission experience. The passion and skills imparted by KNOM have allowed me to continue being "on the air" at my local public radio station. KNOM is also a place for young adults to find themselves and to carry forward values instilled by the station. I made mistakes there, I grew and matured, I took advantage and then learned to appreciate. It is a special space where it is all allowed, encouraged, and expectations are high.
Amy Gorn lives in Sitka, Alaska; she and her husband expect their first child on December 10th!
A smile here, a kind word there, a helping hand to someone in need: sowing seeds of happiness is a beautiful way to live a life!
We're so gratified for stories like those of Amy Gorn (above); they reaffirm our belief that KNOM can truly be life-changing for all who participate in it.
That's definitely the case for Laura (Davis) Collins, who served as a KNOM volunteer from 2007 to 2009 and now works as the station's outreach coordinator. As we go to press, Laura is recruiting for new volunteers at a few colleges and universities (using the display board she's preparing above). Interested in volunteering? Explore our volunteer program information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.