People on WSIU Radio
Thu February 9, 2012
SIRIS Volunteer Profile - William Eric Hamer
When an opportunity arises to get involved in his community, William Eric Hamer is the last person to shy away. For someone like Hamer, the Southern Illinois Radio Information Service (SIRIS) is just one of the many ways in which he keeps himself busy and helps to keep his community strong.
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Hamer moved to Carbondale in 1965 to attend SIUC where he graduated with a Psychology degree in 1969.
After completing his college education, Hamer was hired at the Mental Health Center in Chester. Later, he “did a 180” when he opened a print shop known as the Author’s Office in downtown Carbondale. This detour in Hamer’s career eventually led to his next love: theater. In 1979, Hamer walked into the Marion Cultural & Civic Center and immediately knew he was in the right place. Hamer eventually became the assistant director of the facility and to this day still finds himself actively pursing leadership roles with the Center, such as serving as the Treasurer of the Center’s Foundation.
In his free time, Hamer enjoys giving back to the community. In addition to his volunteer work with SIRIS, he volunteers for Hospice of Southern Illinois and also delivers Meals on Wheels to homebound citizens. He also is a member of the Paradise Alley Players Board of Directors.
Hamer’s says his interest in SIRIS was first sparked by hearing about the service on WSIU Radio.
Since his arrival at SIRIS, Hamer has found the experience to be spiritually awarding. “My spiritual belief is that we’re here to help those we can, whenever and wherever we can,” he says. “If there are opportunities in front of me to make a difference in someone else’s life, how can I not go forward? I think the three worst words to say are, ‘I don’t care.’”
Hamer says he also enjoys volunteering for SIRIS because he knows he is doing something good for the broader community. Plus, he says, “I like talking...and I like the idea that I have listeners who want to hear what I have to say!”
When Hamer is not volunteering, he spends much of his time acting. From portraying Evil-Eye Fleegal and Hairless Joe in Little Abner at John A. Logan College to playing Kris Kringle in Miracle On 34th Street at the Marion Cultural & Civic Center, Hamer enjoys the opportunity to express his creative side through theater. He also portrayed François Valle, the leading figure in St. Genevieve, Missouri, in the 1770’s in Under These Same Stars - The Céladon Affair, a locally-produced film that aired on WSIU-TV in January 2012.
Hamer also enjoys listening to public radio. He says he listens so often that his favorite programs on WSIU Radio are “news in the morning, news in the evening, and music in between.” Hamer enjoys all of WSIU’s programming, especially Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!, Car Talk, and Whad’Ya Know? With Michael Feldman.