Sunday, June 14, 2009

Park Cities 4th of July Festival

Hi Everyone!

We have an exciting opportunity and need your help! Randell Holmes and his wife Lori have encouraged us to have a presence at the Park Cities 4th of July festival. It involves a float (truck) in a parade starting at 9am and a booth/tent at the park immediately following, from 9:30-1:00pm or so. We’ve decided it would be excellent exposure for DHF and for the gala; we will be able to interact firsthand with many of Dallas’ most influential families and decision makers. Since we will not have a BOD/FRC meeting before July 4th, we need to do a call for volunteers and for services via email/phone. Melissa will be on site, but both Meredith and myself have long-standing plans to be out of town, so please let us know how you can help.

Everything will be “Christmas in July” themed. We hope to decorate our “float” and booth with christmas decorations and have SANTA on site for kids to take pictures with (and we will email them the pictures so that we can get their email addresses and keep in touch with them!) Here is what we need, from services/goods to volunteer opportunities: At the Parade, we need:
*Kids and parents who would like to ride on the float starting at 8:30AM. We would prefer patients of course. They will need to either dress like elves (if we can get our hands on costumes!) or in red, green or white tshirts or other comparable christmas/holiday attire.

*Sponsorship on candy to be thrown from the float to the kids on the street below (gum, now & laters, soft candies are preferable. The Holmeses recommend at least 30 large bags from Sams/Costco.)

*Sponsorship on two banners to flank the vehicle.

*2-4 Volunteers who can walk the length of the 2 mile parade route (from University Park City Hall to Highland Park City Hall) and hand out the hundreds of Save the date flyers we have left over. This was an excellent suggestion from Randell, who said it’s a great way to directly advertise with individuals who may sponsor or attend and by walking the length of the route and handing the flyers out one by one, it’s very effective.)

*Most importantly, we need someone to offer to drive their pick up truck and/or a flatbed trailer that the kids can ride in. Please let us know asap on this one! At the tent/booth, we need:

*SANTA! We recommend doing 4 1 hour shifts, 9:30-1:30.

*Sponsorship for Santa’s costume: Hat, Coat, Board Shorts, Inner tube, and flippers (Christmas in july, right?) *Sponsorship for booth, $200 (Melissa is working on this)

*Sponsorship for Christmas decorations (or, we can all pull together our christmas decorations. I would say we need at least 2 trees. Kristen suggestion: we may consider incorporating some white & light blue here too since our logo has those colors, and so that we are inclusive of all religions)

*The Holmes have offered to sponsor the materials for the platform and chair for Santa to go on, but we need someone with carpentry skills to build Santa’s platform)

*Sponsorship for bags with Save the Dates, candy canes, etc. to hand out to people when they come by. Randell suggested doing a bag is great because kids are always looking for bags to put their candy in. We also thought sponsored balloons would be great. We still have 85 of the Save the Date goody bags from the Preview Party to hand out, but need at least 150 more.

*Photography services and digitial camera (doesn’t have to be professional) for pics of kids with Santa, again we can do 1 hour shifts.

*At least 3-4 people at the booth each hour to sell tickets, push sponsorship levels, and hand out underwriting packets. Sorry for so much information! Randell estimates that 30,000 people attend this event, so if we are well prepared, it will be a great showing for DHF! Any and all ideas are much appreciated.

Thanks! Kristen

Dakota Clark

Parents vs Kids: Persceptions of Hearing Loss Among the Immediate Family

Parents vs. Kids: Perceptions of Hearing Loss Among the Immediate Family

Featuring special guest Thomas Powers, PhD, VP of Audiology, Siemens Hearing Instruments interviewed by Karl Strom, editor of Hearing Review.

Join HR Editor, Karl Strom, as he visits with the Vice President of Audiology of Siemens Hearing Instruments, Thomas Powers, PhD. Listen as Dr. Powers discusses a recent survey commissioned by Siemens that shows there is a large gap that exists between the perceptions parents (ages 50-75) hold of their own hearing and the perceptions (and worries) their children hold. The survey suggests that traditional hurdles remain when getting people to admit and address their hearing loss. The children of those with hearing loss may be important players—particularly in the role of e-helpers—for getting larger numbers of adults to seek hearing help. This and many more interesting results are covered by Dr. Powers in this week's podcast and presentation.

>>>Tune-in every other Thursday for a new Hearing Review Science & Technology podcast
>>Mark your calendar for our next Science & Technology podcast on June 25.

Why me? Why not?

Helen Keller once said, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.” Most people think when they are in a bad situation, “Why Me?” If those people looked at the bright side, they might find that question being “Why Not?” Being deaf has taught me that things don’t have to be horrible, if you don’t think of it that way.

At the time I was implanted, people thought that not a lot of things could be done to help a deaf child, besides giving them hearing aids and teaching them sign language. My parents had me implanted with cochlear implants, which with a lot of hard work and dedication helped me to hear and speak like a person with normal hearing. Since I was one of the first people in the area to undergo this surgery, and succeed with flying colors, it allowed me to be a role model for those that are still struggling with their implants. I actually have a deaf pen pal that recently got her second implant and she often asks me questions about mine. Since I have been in the same situation, I can let her know that she has someone there to support her.

Thinking positively and thinking “why not?” about being deaf has made me realize a lot of things. For starters, it has made me a more resilient person because I have learned not to take things so seriously. For example, if someone has a hard time getting my attention, I don’t get offended. This is an opportunity for me to inform them about my deafness. If I had normal hearing, I probably wouldn’t have experienced some of the things that I have in my life, such as Imagination Celebration, or Dancing with the Deaf. I have also had the opportunity from the Dallas Hearing Foundation to meet Miss America 1995, who is deaf. Meeting her showed me that the possibilities are endless when it comes to dreams and making them come true. Also, I have learned to advocate for myself in certain situations. This prepares me for when I go to college and I have to make sure that I get what I need to be able to hear because no one will be there to do it for me. Also, being deaf has made me strive to succeed in things that most people don’t expect a deaf person to succeed in such as being a dancer in Drill Team. I’m an excelling mainstream student, and I’m in the National Honors Society. Next year, I will be able to partake in Dual credit college courses. Being deaf has also helped me appreciate technology and its advancements over the years because those advancements have allowed me to improve my hearing. I have also participated in various studies and research involving deaf people, such as the study that showed me that I am deaf because of genetics. As a result of these studies, I’m now informed about how this could affect my own children. Also, this research could be beneficial to other people who are thinking about getting an implant. The best thing about thinking “Why not?” about my deafness is that it makes me more compassionate towards those who are struggling with something in their lives. I am this way because my own experiences have shown me that people are different. As a result, I don’t judge people.

Because I have not let my being deaf stop me from anything, I have the opportunity to do things in my future that many deaf kids haven’t considered doing. One of those things is going to a college that is not specifically for deaf kids. I also have the opportunity to be more independent in my life. I will be able to get a job with minimal restrictions on the things that I am allowed to do just because I’m deaf. I get to do these wonderful things because I said “Why not?”

I’m not saying that it is easy for me, because it’s not. I am saying that there are ways around every challenge, and you can persevere in whatever you want to accomplish. For every bad day, or even a bad medical diagnosis there is always something positive. So the next time you are in a bad situation instead of thinking “Why me?” think positively and think “Why not?”

Kelsey Rohr