Grand Opening Ceremony September 21, 2009

Many Ways of Peace: the name has a history!

By Dorelle DeGoes-Pfister

In the 1980's, Arturo Raul Garcia DeGoes and some friendsdorelle formed Many Ways of Peace and established a nonprofit corporation in the state of California in that name.

Arturo travelled in the early spring months of 1987 to Eagle River, Wisconsin, to share the concept with his ex-wife, Dorelle Small DeGoes, a native of this area, and to propose the idea to her of organizing a peace festival here.

In faith, hope, optimism and more than a little audacitty, the Eagle River Sports Arena was rented for the 28th, 29th and 30th of August, 1987. In addition, rental tents were reserved for a children's program and to facilitate workshops and presentations when the main stage was in use.

Utilizing the sugggestions and connections of Arturo, Merv Hall and other oassiciates, an impressive program was scheduled. It included representatives from the World Peace University and Radio for Peace International (Peace satellite),the University of California, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, Northland College and Nicolet Technical College. Peace organizations and groups participating in the program were World Without Weapons, the International Creative Education Association, ASCME Labor Party, Wisconsin Green Partty, Waging Peace, the Wisconsin Nucelar Weapons Freeze Campaigin, Inc., Voices Raised in Active Nonviolence, AIMS, the Chippewa tribe and a peace-walk participants from Leningrad-Moscow.

Music, Drumming, MCing and Theatre were provided by local and area individuals and groups, including Dove Tales: Images of Peace, Brian Poupart/Waswagoning Singers, L.J. Booth, Tom Pease, Peaceful Women Singers, Whitewater Band, Karen Fiocchi calling folk dances, The Lost Nation String Band and Soar Feats jugglers and mine.

Especially for the children, there were crafts, art, movement and juggling workshops, storytelling, films and music, including Henry Wong's one-man band.

It was altogether a grand and inspring event covered by local media--but very sparsely attended by the local folk. At promotional appearances, we were often the subject of ridicule, but once committed, there was no thought of turning back. Immediately following the Festival, we focused on how to pay off the fairly large deficit we had acquired.

Many area persons were major contributors and participants in the festival. The list includes Janice Kanysik, Katie Ralph-Moore and Tom Moore (Dove Tales Theatre and Soar Feats), Bob and Terri Simeone, Susan Barakat, Jim Moravec, Walt Bresette, and Debbie Ketchum Jircik, who now serves as director of Many Ways of Peace.

The 1988 program was reduced to a more modest scale. We participated in Lanterns for Hope, a project of the International Peace Lantern Exchange, by floating Peace Lanterns on the down section of the Eagle River.

The gratifying result of the 1987-88 activities of Many Ways of Peace was an intense and emotional bonding between those who participated and with the cause of peace that has endured into the now. Seeds of peace and justice are never sown in vain.

Almost 20 years later, when Mary Jo Berner established the MJ Berner Foundation for Peace and Justice, Inc., the name Many Ways of Peace was adopted for the Peace Center project of the Foundation.

Peace does indeed continue, survive and grow in Many Ways.

Reprise of 2011 Peace Festival

A huge round of applause for our speakers, Jerry Woolpy of Minocquaprocession; Mike Miles of Luck, WI, and Will Williams of DeForest, WI, and our presenters: Margaret Rozga, Paul and Susanna Gilk, Barb Schieffer, and Sue Hollow.

More applause for our street fair vendors and musicians, including the Northwoods and Madison Raging Grannies. Special thanks to everyone who delighted the children in our Children's Tent.

Special applause to Jason Moon and Frogwater for our rousing kick-off concert.

We're already planning for our 2012 Festival, which will be held July 14th. Come back to this website and our Facebook page for new developments!


Festival headliners:

will w

Keynote Speaker Will Williams was born on Hwy 51 in Crystal Springs, MS and jokes that he will probably die on Hwy 51 in the Town of Windsor near DeForest, WI where he and his wife Dot reside. One thing Will does not joke about is his dedication and commitment to peace and justice for all people.

Will served two tours of duty in Vietnam, receiving two Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart. He credits September 11th for spurring him to join the Madison Area Peace Coalition (MAPC) and Veterans for Peace. Now he speaks out at rallies, is a "regular" at protests at the State Capitol and speaks to at high schools and colleges, including Northland Pines in Eagle River, and at many events throughout Wisconsin as a member for Truth and Alternatives to Militarism in Education (TAME), Veterans for Peace and MATC. He was featured in the Emmy-award winning documentary film, "The Good Soldier". Hear Will's presentation, My Path to Peace and Why We Must Stand Up for Peace, at 2:15PM.

mike m

Mike Miles is member of the Catholic Worker movement and co-founder with his partner, Barb Kass, of the Anatoth Community Farm, a center for for nonviolence, community, and sustainable living in Luck, WI. He has been a nonviolent activist for nearly years, protesting against Project ELF. He has traveled for peace to Israel and Palestine and also participated in humanitarian missions in Iraq. He ran for Congress in both 2004 and 2006 as a Green Party candidate. The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice honored him as Peacemaker of the year for 2002. Hear Mike's presentation, Sustainable Living and Connecting the Dots, at 10:30AM.

jerry w

Jerry Woolpy is Professor Emeritus of Earlham College, where he taught for 39 years before retiring to Minocqua. He desdribes himself as a news junky who does a clipping service for his friends on varius topics, including politics, science, technology. and religion. Along with his wife, Tara Reed, Jerry is co-founder and leader of the Northwoods Peace Coalition, which has coordinated peace vigils monthly in Minocqua since 2002. Hear Jerry's presentation, Why We Stand on the Corner For Peace (When We're No Closer to Peace Than We Were When We Started) at 9:30AM.




A project of the MJ Berner Foundation for Peace and Justice, Inc.
IRS approved 501(c)(3)
PO Box 189, Eagle River, WI 54521