Articles From the October 1995 Unification News
95 Tour, Philadelphia & New Brunswick, NJ
by George F. Glass, Newark, NJ
Could anyone have really expected True Parents to slow down after the Blessing of 360,000 Couples? In retrospect the answer is, "Surely not." Yet , in early August no one anticipated how greatly Father would intensify the Providence with his announcement of a 16-day, 16- City Speaking Tour in America.
Despite the intense focus of all members on Blessing '95, once the announcement was made everyone in the region united to make a success of Father's tour.
Rev. Do Hi Park called me early in August to ask if I could coordinate the campaigns in Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) and New Jersey. Once I agreed to do this Rev. Park assembled a powerful team to begin preparations. I would serve as Chairman. Mr. Sato of IOE and Mrs. Sato of Kodan, Hope Igarashi of WFWP and Ron Gurtatowski of Family Federation would stand as Vice-Chairs. Rev. Thomas Baldwin and Rev. Andre Jenkins would assist me. Pierre Tardy and Neil Angelino would be responsible for raising funds.
The first thing we did was to establish a prayer condition. Mrs. Sato, along with Mrs. Kono and other Kodan women, organized all Japanese women into prayer teams so that there would be daily prayer and fasting throughout the campaign.
Next came the securing of dates and venues for the speeches. In the original schedule sent from Headquarters, the first speech was to be New York on the 5th, the next in Philadelphia on the 6th, followed by Bridgeport on the 7th and New Jersey on the 8th.
In New Jersey, Rev. Baldwin quickly discovered that there were only 14 possible venues in northern or central New Jersey capable of seating 1000 people or more guests. Of these, all 12 locations in northern New Jersey were booked for the night of September 8th. The other 2 venues in central New Jersey were both available on September 8th. Rev. Baldwin secured the Brunswick Hilton in East Brunswick near Rutgers, the State University as the site for the speech.
In Philadelphia, Rev. Jenkins was already negotiating with the Philadelphia Marriott hotel for a related program. He had already been informed that we could reserve the hotel ballroom for September 6th for Father's speech when he was contacted by HQ as to whether he could change his date for his speech from the 6th to the 5th. (New York was in a dilemma since the Manhattan Center was irrevocably booked for the night of September 5th). Rev. Jenkins spoke with the hotel and discovered that the 5th was available; furthermore, because it was the day following Labor Day, a special discount would be given. He proceeded with the reservation for the 5th. This aided New York greatly but placed a heavy burden on Philadelphia for volunteering to go first.
The next step was to consider who to bring to the speech.
From the outset it seemed to me that we had a tremendous responsibility and opportunity to reach well beyond our membership for attendees for this speech. We called a general meeting for community leaders and all interested members at our newly purchased church in Clifton, New Jersey for a Wednesday evening. Despite everyone's busy schedule, 75 people turned out for this meeting.
The meeting was extremely productive as we heard the ideas of numerous members who felt we should be approaching 100 key members from each of 10 different categories of people: Public Officials (Federal, State and Local Levels), Clergy, Education Professionals, Business People, Women's' Organizations,
Immediately following the Wednesday evening meeting Luis Patino spoke with me about contacting Ambassador Philip Sanchez to introduce Father at the speech.
Two evenings later we held another well-attended General Mobilization meeting. Peter Ross, director of Communications at Unification Church HQ came over from New York to give us pointers on dealing with the Press and Media during this campaign. Ron Gurtatowski, chairperson for the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace in New Jersey gave a very informative talk on the purpose and role of the Family Federation, the group sponsoring the speech.
We made plans to contact as many public officials, ministers, community leaders and prominent citizens as possible. We would do this by invitation and follow-up phone calls. As much as we desired to contact these people we soon learned that we had no data base to work from. It was as if there had been no one from the Unification Church ever in New Jersey before.
Philip Soai-van, formerly of Christian Bernard, with long experience in advertising for that company, offered his services in producing as professional as possible an invitation for the special guests. Philip prepared a mock-up of the invitation, Richard Panzer supplied 3 key reasons why the invitee should attend the speech and Ron Gurtatowski contributed a well-written statement of purpose for the FFUWP. Philip was able to obtain several back copies of Today's World from Kathryn Coman and took these with him to his printer in Lincoln Park, New Jersey. There the printer and his staff worked with Philip to select 4 appropriate pictures which they then scanned into their computer for use in our invitation. Although Philip had prepared a beautiful 4- color invitation on his computer he had to forego that effort in the interests of saving time and money.
He eventually ordered the invitations in 2 colors (blue with the photos done in black and white) on white stock. The order went in on a Friday and by the following Wednesday morning the invitations were ready.
While Philip was busy with preparations for the printing of the invitation, Annie Gagne was busy recruiting more than 30 women to go to libraries to research name lists of possible invitees. Cynthia Nakai located a handbook with names of every municipal official in New Jersey. Rev. Baldwin immediately ordered a copy of the handbook and received it the next day. A similar book was located and purchased for southeastern Pennsylvania. Rev. Baldwin also purchased a CD-ROM phone book which enabled us to download and prepare labels directly from the computer names and addresses of all clergy in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania areas we were contacting.
The invitations were produced within days. The addresses, many written by hand by members all over New Jersey, were ready just in time for the mail out on Wednesday and Thursday, August 23rd and 24th. The mailout was done in the chapel of the new church at Clifton. Two long tables were set up, one side for the New Jersey invitations and one side for the Philadelphia invitations. Annie Gagne organized everything in an extraordinary way so that mothers with children old enough to stuff, label, stamp or seal envelopes could help their parent(s) and those with children too young for any of this could be cared for by other mother's downstairs or in the adjoining parsonage.
The mailout itself was a monumental effort which saw mothers, fathers and children coming and going all throughout the day and evening. 14,000 invitations went out by mail, half to northern and central New Jersey locations for the New Brunswick speech and the other half to southern New Jersey and all of southeast Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia speech. Nearly half of all the invitations went to clergy; all others went to selected professors and educators, leaders of various organizations, and every mayor, town clerk, township attorney, police chief, fire chief, school board president, school superintendent and town librarian. Another 400 invitations were made available for hand delivery by members throughout the region.
Flyers and letters to the Korean community were prepared in Hangul. Similar flyers were done in Spanish for all Hispanic communities.
And once the invitations were sent members all throughout the region took pages of names and phone numbers of invitees to personally contact as many people as possible in advance of the speeches.
The speeches themselves were amazingly successful after the short preparation period. Philadelphia's speech was held at the Philadelphia Marriott in Center City. The hotel, which opened just 9 months ago, has become renowned for its marvelous service. Every employee was enthusiastic in assisting us with preparations for Rev. Moon's arrival and stay. And our members in the Philadelphia area all assisted with all their effort to have the entire ballroom full with 1000 guests. Special thanks go to the members from the Washington, DC area who brought numerous guests from that area as well.
In Philadelphia, Farley Jones, President of the Family Federation for Unification and World Peace, served as emcee. Three musical pieces were presented followed by a marvelous invocation which greatly stirred the hearts of the guests. Then Rev. Wycliffe Jangdharrie warmly introduced Father. Both of these clergymen have long been supporters of ICC activities and even traveled to Korea in years past to tour Korea with the ICC. Following Father's speech, floral bouquets were presented to Father by representatives from the recent 360,000 couple Blessing, a plaque honoring Father for the work he and the Unification Movement have inspired and done in Philadelphia was given by Rev. Harry T. Wells of One Day at a Time, and a lovely crystal Liberty Bell symbolic of Philadelphia and America was presented to him.
Many guests in the audience were deeply moved by the content of Father's speech. Many were especially touched by his effort to speak in English.
In Brunswick, Bill Lay of the Family Federation, emceed the program. Entertainment during and after the program was provided by David Eaton, ___ and the New York City Chamber Ensemble.
Ambassador Philip Sanchez in his own very polished and personal way introduced Father to the guests. At the conclusion of the speech, as was done in Philadelphia floral bouquets were presented to Father by representatives from the recent 360,000 couple Blessing, a plaque honoring Father for the work he and the Unification Movement have inspired and done in New Jersey was given followed by a beautiful crystal remembrance of Father's trip to New Jersey was presented. The mayor of East Brunswick, although unable to attend in person sent his greetings and welcome to Rev. Moon. Dr. Zal Velez, Vice-Mayor of West Orange, New Jersey presented Father with the Key to West Orange. Dr. Velez listened very carefully along with his wife, Mrs. Josie Velez, to all of Father's speech.
Special mention has to be made with regard to the efforts of Andre Jenkins, Anslie Abraham, David Burke, Sally Seher, Ming Gi Eu, Maria Rodriguez, Mr. Lee, Mr. Pang and others to support Rev. Jenkins in Philadelphia. Rev. Jenkins was single-handedly locating venues for all the WFWP events for September, October, November and December in addition to the work he was doing for Blessing '95 when word came of Father's tour. He not only accomplished to Blessing and the securing of the hotel commitments for the WFWP but he also coordinated all efforts in Philadelphia and personally brought Rev. Wells and others with him in great numbers to Father's speech. Ainslie has been working with ICC ministers for some time and made every attempt to bring them all to Father's speech. David did all he could to support the program with press releases, contacting people personally and sending invitations. Sally worked very effectively with all members residing and working in the suburban areas of Philadelphia. Ming Gi, director of the national MFT team in Philadelphia, made his entire team available to assist with flower arranging, security and ushering duties. He himself coordinated the local security team. Maria Rodriguez worked tirelessly for more than 24 hours prior to the speech traveling from her home in northern New Jersey to Philadelphia late at night, then going to the flower market with Anslie Abraham in the early morning hours to select and purchase flowers and then working all day long in the small hotel room preparing the many bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, etc. with her small team of Japanese sisters. Mr. Lee and Mr. Pang, both Korean elders from the Philadelphia area worked especially hard with Korean guests.
Similarly, in New Jersey, special mention has to be made regarding the effort of Rev. Thomas Baldwin. Philip Soai-van, Alan Saunders, Francesco Santelli, Annie Gagne, Hope Igarashi and Kathy Sato, Luis Patino, Lova Wilson and Maria Rodriguez. Rev. Baldwin had had some prior experience in Iowa during Mother's speaking tour at the time of the great flood in the Midwest. Working on this campaign gave him new insight into preparing for Father. He was an exceptional factor in accomplishing much of the organizational effort all throughout the campaign. Philip, mentioned earlier in this piece, was an indefatigable assistant to George Glass. Full of ideas and completely responsible carrying out tasks, Philip worked side-by-side with George every day of the campaign. Alan, now a 3rd year student at UTS and only recently returned from witnessing to the highest level people in the Philippines in preparation for their Blessing on August 25th, learned of Father's upcoming speech at Brunswick upon his return to the States. As the former CARP director at Rutgers University (which is nearly adjacent to the Brunswick Hilton, site of Father's speech) from 1988 -1993 he immediately volunteered to assist with the campaign. Alan spent nearly every day for three weeks diligently and selflessly witnessing to professors, students and clergy in the area. Francesco was assigned the tasks of bringing ICC ministers to the event and also to obtain a proclamation or letter of greeting from the Governor's Office. Francesco worked tirelessly with ministers and the Governor's Office. He had an impossible task with the Governor but worked till the last minute there and with the East Brunswick mayor's office to welcome Father. Annie, in spite of caring daily for 6 children throughout the event, was invaluable and indispensable in organizing the entire event. Hope, in spite of working fully on the Blessing Committee and preparing as Regional Director of WFWP for the 4 WFWP Autumn events in Philadelphia provided major assistance and support throughout the campaign. Kathy Sato, in a similar situation as Hope also was invaluable. Luis Patino enabled us with his special talent and effort to have Ambassador Sanchez introduce Father. Lova called me every night to report on her efforts to contact people on the name lists she had been given. She contacted numerous ministers and held deep talks with each in an effort to move people to come to the speech. And again, as in Philadelphia, Maria headed the flower team with another herculean 24-hour effort.
Clearly, any success in filling the two hotel ballrooms with attentive and enthusiastic guests was the result of the intense effort invested by every member in Region 2. However much our membership could contribute they contributed fully. Whether it was contributing financially, by baby-sitting, by running to the library to find and copy names for labels, by contributing money or gifts, by making prayer conditions, by coming to the speech in person and/or with a guest, everyone in the region somehow contributed.
Father, of course, was the most amazing contributor of all. We saw him as a 76 year old father and grandfather setting aside any personal interests he might have had and coming to us, once again, no matter how difficult the task, to try to educate us, all the newly Blessed members and the general public in all that really matters, how best to prepare for and live our eternal life. He battled the flu and laryngitis every night and he pressed on for 12 more events after ours. We all felt the strain of investing ourselves in this campaign, but the moment we saw and heard Father, we all could understand again how we as sons and daughters of God were meant to live our lives here on earth.
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