War Memorial using airwaves to share stories of ‘Inspired Heroes’

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 5, 2019

 Marie Osborne

Marie Osborne

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — The War Memorial is taking another step toward being a regional cultural institution and community center.

The nonprofit has teamed up with WJR-AM to present a new, monthly radio show called “Inspired Heroes.” To be hosted by WJR afternoon anchor Marie Osborne, former War Memorial Board Chair Ted Everingham and War Memorial President and CEO Charles Burke, the first episode will air at 4 p.m. March 9.

“During our first program, we will discuss The War Memorial’s mission, its history (including a bit of the history of the Alger family and the Alger House) and our arts, culture, humanities and other programming,” Everingham said in an email interview. “The point will be to acquaint the audience with who we are and what we do. In the future, we will be focusing on some of our program ‘headliners’ — regionally and even nationally known performers and speakers — and telling stories about ‘inspired heroes’ — people who’ve made significant contributions to our country and our community.”

Jessica Kaminski, manager of communications and programming for The War Memorial, said in an email interview that the guests won’t always be veterans or current military personnel, but all will be “individuals that we consider heroic,” whether locally, regionally or nationally. They might be community activists or supporters of arts and culture — “anyone who is doing something positive to change the community around them,” she said.

The number of guests will vary with each program, Kaminski said. She said “Inspired Heroes” will air at 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, with the exception being September, when it will air at 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month. After the episode airs on the radio, it will be available on The War Memorial’s website so that anyone who misses an episode or wants to listen to it again can do so online.

“Our goal is to create a healthy mix between people we consider heroic and their impact on society, as well as share upcoming programming at The War Memorial — specifically programming that is geared towards driving our mission of being a patriotic, cultural and community leader,” Kaminski said.

Osborne said she’s excited about the show, having attended or covered a number of speakers and events at The War Memorial over the years.

“The War Memorial has really turned itself into a hub for entertainment events and veteran events,” she said.

Everingham, of Grosse Pointe Park, is an attorney who is known locally for his community involvement. He’s also a broadcasting veteran, having started doing radio at his school station and then at a professional station in Jackson when he was in high school. For the last 15 years, Everingham said, he has covered the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race and other stories and events related to sailing for WJR.

“Listeners can always expect that our ‘heroes’ will engage with our wonderful hosts, Ted Everingham and Marie Osborne, in a way that only elevates the importance of their contributions to society,” Kaminski said.

Service to veterans is at the heart of everything The War Memorial does, Osborne said. Besides programs specifically dedicated to veterans, such as the annual Memorial Day ceremony, The War Memorial maintains its mission by functioning as a community center, welcoming people of all ages for classes, lectures, concerts and other events.

“We need people to understand that The War Memorial is a dynamic, living, breathing, ‘patriotic, cultural and community leader’ committed to making life better for everyone who crosses our threshold,” Everingham said.

At press time, episodes of “Inspired Heroes” were slated to be recorded and aired monthly through the end of 2019 on WJR.

“I think this is going to give people a glimpse into the wonderful programs in their community … where you can see a variety of interesting programming on diverse topics,” Osborne said.

For more information or to listen to an episode of “Inspired Heroes” after it has aired on WJR, visit www.warmemorial.org.