Honor of Wendi Winters–Poem for Healing

A pro-active poem for healing

In honor of  Wendi Winters

By Nadja Maril

 

June 28th2018

The Facebook post says mark me safe

I’m safe, here in Annapolis Maryland

I’m safe, I’m safe

Did you hear the news?

White man with long gun and ponytail

An angry vigilante

Glass shattered at the newspaper office

Several people down, possibly dead

But mark me safe

 

Such a tragedy

Did you know anyone?

Do you recognize the names?

Five people killed, five souls

Did you know anyone?

 

Yes

My friend Wendi Winters

My writing colleague Wendi Winter

A  prolific and tireless journalist.

 

Wendi wrote about people

Happy people, lucky people,

People with a cause to promote

Houses, fashion, recreation, the arts

Teen of the Week

A Veteran to be honored

A spectacular home to admire

The United States Naval Academy

The Bay Bridge 10K Race

Sailing regattas, Parades and Fireworks

All part of Wendi’s beat.

 

Writer, photographer, Girl Scout leader

Publicity and Event Consultant

Former model and fashion expert

The woman who volunteered to chaperone

Just about every teenage event at our church

She served on multiple committees

Ushered, greeted and prepared snacks

The perennial volunteer who always showed up.

 

It’s not easy to be a newspaper journalist

Few jobs, long hours, low pay

No one bothers to read what you write

And now it’s downright dangerous

Grow a thick skin to shield you from criticism

And start wearing a bulletproof vest

You’re the one they’ll blame when truth is revealed.

 

 

Who will fill her shoes?

Tall, slim and fearless

Laughing at the challenges

Taking pictures, always taking pictures

Dramatic, chic, daring

Passionate about her children

About causes for social justice

Organized and precise

Never taking a vacation

Balancing a tight budget

Embarking on adventures

Savoring bread and wine

Music and beauty.

 

 

Mark me not safe

Not immune to crying

Mark me not safe

I’m sad and afraid

Of the destructive hate

Infecting the minds of those

Angry enough to hold a gun in their hand

Angry enough to take another’s life

Angry enough to think it’s okay

To steal a mother from a family

To steal the future from a child

To shatter a community with violence.

Wendi with Hat

Wendi Winters-, one of the 5 victims of the June 28th Shooting in Annapolis.

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Public Relations 101 Meet Annapolis Press

If you need help publicizing something, particularly something community related this is a great event you should not miss. Next week there will only be six panelists but they include representatives from The Chesapeake Music Guide, The Capital, WNAV. Chesapeake Family, and What’s Up? Media Group along with Keith Oliver who teachers public relations to U.S. Marines and has recently written a book public relations.

Last night, June 7th was the first installment of the 2010 P.R. Bazaar hosted by Wendi Winters and held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis at 333 Dubois Road. I was one of nine panelists who made themselves available to answer questions on “Just how do I publicize my event?” or “How do I get someone to write a story about my organization?” or “How do I get the photos I took published?” This P.R. Bazaar will be repeated next week, same time and same place. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and there is a request for a donation to cover the overhead expenses ie use of the facilities and the free snacks keeping in mind that this event is a “public service” gig meant to be helpful to both nonprofits, government agencies, small businesses and to members of the press as well.
If you need help publicizing something, particularly something community related this is a great event you should not miss. Next week there will only be six panelists but they include representatives from The Chesapeake Music Guide, The Capital, WNAV. Chesapeake Family, and What’s Up? Media Group along with Keith Oliver who teachers public relations to U.S. Marines and has recently written a book on public relations.

How did the P.R. Bazaar get started, well I will shamelessly tell you that I started this event approximately 10 years ago as the Communications Chair of the Anne Arundel County Arts Council. The purpose was to help our 40 plus non profit arts organizations get a better idea of how to publicize their activities and expand their audiences. I limited the number of panelists to no more than six and tried to alternate from year to year the type of media representation by focusing one year on newspapers and magazines and another year on television, radio, and websites. After my term finished as a board member of the arts council the event was not continued and fortunately Wendi liked the idea so much that she picked it up and ran with it. (As this prolific freelance journalist does with many things!) She has expanded its reach to run two sessions and serve a larger variety of participants.
Sadly I noticed that this year there was no representation from two of our major area newspapers: The Washington Post or The Baltimore Sun. They did provide some information to be included in the booklet given to all participants but I could tell from the questions I was being asked that no one was sitting down and reading the booklet. I’m going to assume that the editors from The Post and The Sun felt too overworked to attend the event. Several of the panelists felt compelled to tell the audience just how overworked they were and how their publications were struggling under the shadow of a tenuous economy that had forced management to reduce the staff and size of their organization. I learned that Maryland Public Television no longer has a communications department and thus the development staff are now responsible for communications. I learned that the Annapolis Times closed its doors in 2009 due to lack of revenue but recently reopened, albeit at 12 pages, with support from the African American business community. When it came my turn to speak, I chose to focus on what What’s Up? does publish and produce on several media platforms. As to being overworked, suffice it to say that I do not have time to chat on the phone or meet for coffee unless you are willing to rendez-vous at 7:00 a.m. I carefully focus my time on completing targeted projects and multi-task as much as possible. When special projects editor Sarah Hagarty asked me this morning how last night went, I suggested she read my blog I was about to write.
I met lots of nice people. There were about 50 attendees, plus the panelists and volunteers (many of whom were members of Wendi’s family) so there was definitely a good sized crowd. This year the event took on a more intimate format. Attendees sat at large round tables and the panelists moved from table to table every 7 minutes to answer questions. While it may have enabled each panelist to focus only on their publication and not listen to how their colleagues responded to a question, it did mean that I had to answer some of the same questions over and over again. The most asked question: When are your deadlines? So for everyone reading this I’ll just put it in writing. If you want someone to be published in the calendar, we need to receive it 45 days in advance of the month in which the event occurs. It you want to pitch a story, try to think in terms of one year in the future. More time sensitive short articles can be taken on six months in the future. Remember that in order for a monthly magazine to be printed and on the newstands by the end of the preceeding month it needs to get to the printer a month in advance.