What a year we enjoyed in 1996! It started off in January, when Keiko (Free Willy) was transported from Mexico City to his new home in Newport, Oregon. It was a real thrill to be there when the UPS plane landed with its precious cargo, and to watch Keiko being lifted from his container high in the air and into his new tank. Keiko has made an amazing recovery and is thriving in his new environment.

We were privileged to participate in a three-day conference with the Dalai Lama in Pasadena. This event was sponsored by the Chinese Friends of Tibet, a most significant move toward under-standing, forgiveness and peace in the world.

And then there was our trip to Colorado to witness the release of Frederick the Great (the Grizzly bear saved from an Indiana zoo). Fred has moved into his new home at a wild animal park in the rolling hills of Pagosa Springs, Colorado, where he enjoys romping in the grass for the first time in his life.

And what about Bruce Anderson, the vegetarian bus driver from Southern California, who lost his job when he refused to hand out certificates for hamburgers. Well, with legal assistance from Gloria Allred, Anderson sued the OCTA and won an out-of-court settlement which covered his back pay and legal expenses. Though he did not get his job back, through his efforts, the OCTA employee handbook will now stipulate that moral and ethical beliefs will get the same respect as conventional religious teachings. Congratulations, Bruce, you made a difference!

Towards the end of the year, we participated in two events sponsored by the Women's Federation for World Peace. The First Interracial Sisterhood Project brought together hundreds of women from different races and cultures. The International Women's Friendship Conference brought together several hundred Japanese and American women. In both events, the parti-cipating women became "sisters" in a very moving "Crossing of the Bridge Ceremony". These organizations were formed to unite women who can transcend the limitations of race, religion and regional differences, and who are willing to take a major role in developing world peace.

Yes, 1996 was a good year . . . and I believe 1997 will be an even better year for everyone! I can see, and feel, changes happening all around me, and the willingness of people to open their minds and hearts in an effort to promote understanding and peace. I am encouraged at what appears to be a solid improvement in our economy, and that we are headed in the right direction. We have an exciting year ahead!!

As we begin our fifth year of publishing Awareness Magazine, we continue to bring you the best and most current information available. In the past several issues we have received so much positive feedback on Scott Kalechstein's wonderful articles, that he has agreed to contribute a regular column.

We hope you enjoy our first issue of 1997, covering many important women's issues. And thank you to Judith Cornell for her cover art "Healing Our Relationships" - the perfect issue to showcase this incredibly beautiful piece!

May you all be blessed with a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Remember . . . Everything starts with 
                                Awareness . . . magazine! 

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