With family demands, work stresses and financial troubles, its not surprising that community activism would sink tothe bottom of our to-do lists. Yet, despite
these obstacles, Dexter mom Leslie Panzica- Glapa, 52, was determined to grab her chance to make the world a better place.
Panzica-Glapa helps raise money for the recently created non-profi t group, Peace Nick, formed to promote peace through education, poverty reduction, environmental protection and social justice.
Peace Nick organizes educational concert rallies to provide funding for area charities. Panzica-Glapa recently performed at one of these events, playing bass for her political activist rock
band, “The Insurgency.” At the function, Vietnam-era veterans were invited to speak about their experiences both before and after that war. Confl ict resolution was just one of the subjects on the agenda.
“From the time I was young, I wanted to help the environment and have a peaceful world,” said Panzica-Glapa. “I feel like it’s a calling. I’m really passionate about it.”
Music and community service haven’t always been a big part of her daily activities. Her life changed when she got a call from her brother Greg Panzica, 50, a Royal Oak father of a 2-yearold boy, and the founder and executive director of Peace Nick.
“My brother picked up the guitar and started writing music. He said he was going to look for a bass player. I called the Ann Arbor Music Center and started taking bass lessons,” she said.
A short time later, she was performing on stage.
“I definitely had some butterflies in my stomach,” she said. “It’s gotten better.
I definitely enjoy it.”
Her three teenage boys aren’t so sure. “They roll their eyes, because their mom is in a band,” she said.
Panzica-Glapa, a divorced mom, works as a landscape designer. “I would like to totally eradicate chemical usage, like on lawns. It goes into our waterways. I don’t think it’s necessary. We are
eating pesticides,” she said. “That is my life purpose – to change that. Hopefully, we can do it through the music.”
Battling to achieve that goal has brought her increased happiness and energy. “It’s totally fulfi lling,” said Panzica- Glapa.
Her activities have also had a positive effect on her family. “I believe I am a good role model for them,” she said. “I have a son who does community service. It’s definitely spilled over.”
What’s her advice for moms and dads mulling over whether to step forward to help their neighbors?
“Do it. We don’t always listen to that little voice in your head. You need to listen to it and go with your passions,” she said. “We need to get together in the communities and make them a better
Plans are underway to offer a Peace Nick children’s concert in Ann Arbor in early 2010. The event will feature kidfriendly music, a magician, puppeteer and crafts. Keep an eye on the group’s
web page at www.peacenick.org for more information about the time, date and venue for the upcoming event.