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Lithuanian Radio Hour Celebrates Its 50 Year Anniversary
July / August 2007

Tevynes Garsai:
Lithuanian Radio Hour is celebrating its 50 year anniversary.

  The Lithuanian Radio Hour
"Tevynes Garsai ~ Sounds of The Homeland"
is heard weekly on WWUH, 91.3 FM, Sundays, 5 to 6pm.

It is dedicated to broadcasting Lithuanian music, segments on Lithuanian culture, local news, parish announcements, special events programs, interviews, and commentary on various political and cultural subjects.
The first Lithuanian radio program was heard in the late 1940’s and early 50’s; it originated in New Britain and was produced and aired by Vytautas Zalnieraitis who relinquished the show to Vladas Pleckaitis in 1954. The program closed in early 1957 and gave way to the “Tevynes Garsai” – “Sounds of the Homeland” Lithuanian radio hour which, 50 years later still airs weekly.
The Hartford area based Lithuanian radio program was born at the home of Joseph Belazaras of South Windsor. He with the assistance of Barney Vedeikis gathered a group of individuals, with whose financial support “Tevynes Garsai” first aired on March 17, 1957 on station WPOP. It has been on the air for over 50 years, producing over 2,800 programs during that time period. The program is incorporated in the State of Connecticut as a non-profit organization.
The first program director was Vladas Pleckaitis then a resident of New Britain; he was succeeded by Jurgis Petkaitis in July, 1958. In 1960 Jurgis invited Algimantas Dragunevicius to assist him in the production of the “Tevynes Garsai” programs. Mr. Dragunevicius assumed the helm of the Lithuanian program in 1961, and remained its host for 27 years, when in 1988 due to failing health, he turned over the responsibilities of the show to its current host, Alfonsas Dzikas.

During the fifty years of its existence “Tevynes Garsai” has aired its programs from five local Connecticut radio stations:
1957 to 1964 – WPOP-AM Newington, CT
1964 to 1968 – WBMI-FM Meriden, CT
1968 to 1970 – WKSS-FM Hartford, CT
1970 to 1991 – WRYM-AM Newington, CT
1991 to present – WWUH-FM University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT

During this 50 year time period a group of dedicated individuals have served as announcers: in the late 50-s and early 60-s Vladas Pleckaitis, Jurgis Petkaitis, Algimantas Dragunevicius, Juozas Benešiunas, Nijole Rukaite, Gene Tijuneliene and Lione Simonaitiene. In 1962 Mrs. Zita Dapkiene joined the staff and remained its integral part until she moved  to Florida in September, 1994. The program’s current director,
Alfonsas Dzikas, joined the staff in 1963, followed by Lionginas Kapeckas in 1966, Leonas Adamkevicius in 1987, and Lione Simonaitiene in 1994, Evaldas Malinauskas in 1999 and Tomas Nenortas in 2001. Algis Simonaitis serves as the program’s administrator.

The current production and announcing staff consists of:
Alfonsas Dzikas, Director since 1988/Announcer since 1963
Birute Bernotiene since 1996
Saulius Dzikas since 1988
Dalia Dzikiene since 1995
Asta Nenortiene since 1998
Raminta Nenortiene since 2001
Lionginas Kapeckas since 1966
Sigita Lancinskiene since 2006
Lione and Algis Simonaitis Administrators

On Saturday, May the 5-th the Lithuanian Radio Hour celebrated it’s 50’th anniversary with a reception held at the University of Harford, Harry Gray Conference Center. Among the 100 persons attending the reception were John Ramsey, General Manager WWUH-FM; Vaiva Vebraite-Gust, advisor to the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus and Ray Krisst former professor at the University of Hartford.  The reception was catered by the Harry S. Gray Center and coordinated by Regina Ziurys. 
Master of ceremonies Gene Ziurys read a letter of congratulations from William Harrison, President of the University of Hartford.  Vaiva Vebraite-Gust presented a letter of congratulations from Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania.
Al Dzikas in his brief remarks thanked the supporters of the Lithuanian Radio Hour and WWUH for providing air time for  the program. He then introduced the announcing and administrative team of the Lithuanian Radio Hour; they were warmly greeted by everyone in attendance.
John Ramsey, General Manager of WWUH-FM in his remarks to the participants, congratulated the Lithuanian Radio Hour on its  fiftieth anniversary and spoke about the events which brought the program to WWUH in 1991.
The afternoon was catered by the University of Hartford Harry S. Gray Conference Center catering group and coordinated by Regina Ziurys.

WWUH: Program Guide 2007 ©

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