WORT staff, volunteers thank community for support

MADISON (WKOW) — The day after a shooting injured one of their own, volunteers and staff were back to work again at WORT-FM. In fact, if you walked into WORT on Monday, you’d have to listen closely to know anything was different.

DJs were preparing for their shows, guests were coming in and out of the studio and volunteer reporter Alejandro Alonso Galva was racing to meet his deadline, only Monday’s story hit much closer to home.

Alonso Galva was tasked with recounting the stories of volunteers, like himself, in the aftermath of Sunday’s shooting.

"I woke up on Sunday morning, and walked over here to get some work done cause I knew I had a long week ahead of me, had like my breakfast in my hand was half awake strolling up the station and suddenly I hear a police officer yell, ‘You can’t go in there!’" he said.

Alonso Galva said he then learned there was a shooting around 3:00 that morning, three DJs were inside at the time and one person was hurt. He said dozens of volunteers were waiting outside to help get the station back on the air and after the "all clear" from police, they went to work.

"We didn’t miss a beat," he said. "We immediately knew what we had to do."

Alonso Galva said despite the shooting, the volunteers had a positive energy throughout Sunday and Monday and as calls and donations started pouring in, he said the spirits rose even higher.

"Immediately folks, wanted to get the station back on its feet and they did it in action and the way they spoke right, donuts started showing up to the station, flowers started showing up to the station," he said.

A non-profit, community radio station, WORT relies on community donations to stay on air and maintain their station. In the wake of the shooting, many on staff are wondering how they’ll be able to afford and install increased security. 

"My concern is more with the people who do work the overnight shifts and I think that’s where we need to concentrate our concerns and our energies to make sure that they are safe because they are far more vulnerable than we are," Alex Wilding-White, the host of an afternoon jazz program said.

Others are left wondering how a station so tied to the community, can start working to keep people out.

"We’re gonna have to really talk about how we defend who we are while also staying safe," Alonso Galva said.

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