If music is the soundtrack of life, then WMSE would be the station of choice for Tracy Thomas. Her passion for both the radio station and its songs started at an early age.
“I grew up in the days of being able to call a radio station to request a song, but my first introduction to WMSE was in the 90’s listening to the Boogie Bang Show on Saturday afternoons. I just thought the station was the greatest thing ever,” said Thomas.
Even though the times of call-in requests and recording your favorite songs o a portable boombox came and went, Thomas still found new ways to tune into her favorite passion. “I worked for 10 years as a disc jockey on the weekends. I did over 300 weddings and parties.”
When Thomas turned off the mic in 1997 and started working in nonprofit as a controller at Independence First in Milwaukee, WMSE and its music still played an important role in her life.
“I really appreciate the latitude that WMSE gives its DJs to put together their own shows. You can tell they are passionate and love their craft. They are also all volunteers, which is unbelievable.”
The station even kept Thomas company in 2020 when many around the world suddenly became isolated from family and friends amidst a global pandemic. “I loved getting to listen to WMSE every day when I was working from home.”
In 2021, Thomas decided to put into action what she had been thinking about for several years. “I finalized my estate plan and wanted to make sure WMSE was included.”
Thomas’ bequest will help ensure the financial stability of, in her words, “the best radio station in the world.”
“Working at a nonprofit for 25 years, I understand and appreciate the need to be financially secure and to focus on other goals. I hope this gift keeps the station freeform and independent for the future.”
WMSE Station Manager Tom Crawford said Thomas is one of the station’s most passionate volunteers and her support will help aide in the long-term future of WMSE.
"We are so grateful for loyal listeners like Tracy who support our mission of educating members of our community through music you can’t hear anywhere else on the radio dial,” said Crawford. “Her support helps us support local artists who otherwise wouldn’t receive commercial radio exposure."