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Mary Jo Berner was recently awarded the Peacemaker of the Year award from the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. (Submitted photo)
Mary Jo Berner was recently awarded the Peacemaker of the Year award from the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. (Submitted photo)
12/1/2012 7:30:00 AM
Mary Berner, Many Ways of Peace receive Peacemaker of the Year award

Mary Jo Berner and Many Ways of Peace, a resource center for peace and nonviolence in downtown Eagle River, were honored by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice at its annual awards event recently in Milwaukee.

Berner is the founder and president of the MJ Berner Foundation for Peace and Justice, Inc., the nonprofit organization that operates Many Ways of Peace.

Accepting the award with Berner were Debra Ketchum Jircik, director of Many Ways of Peace; Betsy Schussler and Kate Swanson, members of the MJ Berner Foundation board of directors; Justen Lambert and Tony Peters, summer interns at Many Ways of Peace, and Will and Dot Williams of DeForest, frequent presenters at the peace center.

Berner said the name, Many Ways of Peace, was chosen to pay tribute to the 1987 Many Ways of Peace Festival held at the hockey arena in Eagle River.

"Dorelle DeGoes-Pfister, who is secretary of the foundation, was the prime organizer of that event and a true peace visionary. It was a natural decision to bring back the original Many Ways of Peace to downtown Eagle River," Berner said.

In announcing the award, Tom McGrath, president of the network, cited the uniqueness of Many Ways of Peace, the lone peace center of its kind in northern Wisconsin, and the quality and variety of programs offered to the community.

Many Ways of Peace opened its doors to the public in August 2009 and offers programming and events promoting peace, nonviolence and sustainability, including the third annual Many Ways of Peace Festival, which will be held Saturday, July 14, 2013.

"I feel gratitude to Mary Jo Berner for her commitment and generosity in creating the MJ Berner Foundation for Peace and Justice and inviting the board of directors to the wide open possibilities for turning a downtown storefront into Many Ways of Peace," Jircik said.

Many Ways of Peace is located at 217 South Main St., Eagle River. For more information, call (715) 480-4697 or visit www.manywaysof

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, December 1, 2012
Article comment by: Catherine Parker

Congratulations, Mary Jo! And Many Ways of Peace. This is a very well earned honor. Mary Jo, you are a treasure in our community. Thank you for your generous, visionary spirit.

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