SOLD OUT ALERT: Callier Cares Luncheon

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Lisa Troutt (File photo)

Kern Wildenthal (File photo)

Well, Emilynn Wilson has gone and done it. She said she would hit the “Sold Out” mark for Thursday’s Callier Cares Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club, and word just arrived that the ballroom is filled.

But then how could she lose with Lisa Troutt as her honorary chair, Dr. Kern Wildenthal receiving the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award, and noted audiology researcher Dr. Sharon Kujawa being presented with the 2017 Callier Prize?

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the patients in need through the Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

Callier Center Kicks Off A Whole Tradition For Callier Care Chairs With Paloma Picasso Bracelets

While a major golf tournament created a crammed parking lot at the Dallas Country Club, making it look like a luxury used car lot on Wednesday, October 12, a gathering of champs was taking place inside the clubhouse.

The “gathering” was the Past Chairs Luncheon with former Callier Cares Luncheon Chairs Barbara Stuart (2013), Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum (2014), Tiffany Divis (2015) and Angie Kadesky (2016), 2017 Chair Emilynn Wilson, Callier Center Foundation Board President John Stuart and Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell and Callier staffers.

From the left: (standing) Sissy Cullum, Tiffany Divis, Emilynn Wilson and Angie Kadesky; (seated) Betsy Cullum, Tom Campbell, Barbara and John Stuart

From the left: (standing) Sissy Cullum, Tiffany Divis, Emilynn Wilson and Angie Kadesky; (seated) Betsy Cullum, Tom Campbell, Barbara and John Stuart

Tom recalled how it was back in 2011 that Pam Busbee, Tricia George, Tincy Miller and Sara Martineau decided it was time for Callier to have an event and that the first chair should be Libby Hunt. Since that first luncheon in 2012, the annual fundraiser has provided more than $725,000 “to help provide care for patients in need.”

As Tom put it, “This is all due to the leadership of each one of you around this table. There really are no words to adequately express our gratitude — not just for the dollars raised but also for helping to educate our community about the Callier Center.”

While lunch was being served, the former chairs discussed “things that worked well” for the fundraiser and possible suggestions on how to improve on it.

Just before the group finished, Tom reported, “We want to carry forward with the tradition of holding the past chairs luncheon each fall. It will give us the opportunity to keep you all in the loop of the luncheon plans and allow you to share your wonderful thoughts and ideas related to the venue, speakers, awardees and details.”

In creating this “new tradition,” Tom then notified them that the Tiffany gift bags at each of their places contained “a keepsake” for each of the past chairs to wear to all the Callier Cares Luncheon and the Past Chairs Luncheon.

Inside were boxes containing Paloma Picasso’s “Loving Heart Bracelet.”

Goes nicely with the Callier Center’s heart logo.

And only goes to prove that leadership does warrant perks.

Canine Companions For Independence Baylor Scott And White Health Kinkeade Campus Dedication Was A Howling Success

After hit and miss weather of Thursday, November 5, the Canine Companion of Independence (CCI) dedication organizers were breathing a deep sigh of relief. Not only had the tornadic and hail storm hit other parts, the sun was shining, the temperatures were perfect and more than expected showed up to see the dedication of the national program’s first Texas facility.

It was also the first of its kind to partner up with a hospital and in this case it was Baylor Scott & White. Over the years the Irving CCI Baylor Scott And White Health Kinkeade Campus will not only be the graduate school for the canines, but it will also be the temporary home for the human recipients to train as they partner up with their BFFs.

Canine Companions For Independence classmates

Canine Companions For Independence classmates

The services dogs could have cared less about all the hoop-la. They were on duty, while the two-legged critters were amazed and gratified how nine mesquite-covered acres in Irving had been turned into a breathtaking center to yearly prepare 60 dogs to assist children and adults with disabilities.

Outdoor kennels

Outdoor kennels

Indoor kennels

Indoor kennels

On one side of the layout was the Diane and Hal Brierley Kennels with 24 spotless air-conditioned and heated indoor kennels, individual outdoor spaces and a center courtyard with shower facilities. Just a few feet away was the Jan Rees-Jones Canine Center with grooming spa, laundry, veterinary clinic and food-storage and -prep areas.

Food prep area

Food prep area

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Across the paths were cabins specially designed for humans to stay in preparing for the partnerships. Just outside the cabins are outdoor seating and a fire pit. In between the home for the humans and the hounds was the Team Lodge and Training Center.

The grounds included watering areas and loads of room for the pooches to run and just be dogs.

As philanthropists Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Margo Goodwin, Mark Grace, Lindalyn AdamsPamela Street, Kristi Hoyl, Todd Howard, CCI National Board Chair John Miller in from New York,  CCI National Board Trustee Bob Street in from Colorado and vets Steve Blackman with his CCI-trained Gotti and  Jason Morgan with his CCI-trained Rue toured the facilities, one person was heard to say, “Not only would my dog love to live here, I’d love to move in, too.”

 Jan Rees-Jones

Jan Rees-Jones

When the official dedication took place in the Training Center with Baylor Health System Foundation Robin Robinson, CCI CEO Paul Mundell, Baylor Irving President Cindy Schamp, Baylor Scott And White Board of Trustee Steve Boyd and CCI Irving Program Manager Sara Koch on stage, Federal Judge Ed Kinkeade, who had spearheaded the project, stole the show. It was nothing new. He usually is a true-blue scene stealer. Ed told how his beloved pooch Bo had been the typical dog until they decided to enroll in the Baylor Animal Assisted Therapy program.

Steve Boyd, Paul Mundell, Cindy Schamp, Ed Kinkeade and Robin Robinson

Steve Boyd, Paul Mundell, Cindy Schamp, Ed Kinkeade and Robin Robinson

It was through the program that Ed came to realize and appreciate the value of using dogs to help patients improve their lives. He mounted an effort to land the highly renowned Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) for North Texas. By landing such a facility, it meant that Texans in need of such companions would not have relocate to CCI facilities in other states that have resulted in 4,797 teams of humans and dogs since its founding in July 1975.

Started in California, the CCI program is a lengthy one, where puppies (Labrador retrievers, gold retrievers and crosses of the two breeds) live with “puppy raisers” for 14-16 months before undergoing a six- to nine-month training course with professional trainers at the center. They learn everything from basic obedience, working with wheelchairs to learning over 40 commands to help their human companions. They are especially trained to serve as service dogs, facility dogs, skilled companions and hearing dogs and are provided to those in need free of charge.

After three years of negotiating, the deal was cut and the facility was located in Ed’s hometown of Irving.

Jan Rees-Jones and Ed Kinkeade

Jan Rees-Jones and Ed Kinkeade

Ed recalled how in going through a training program in preparation for the AAT test, the trainer told Ed, “Bo is doing great.” On the other hand, the trainer suggested that Ed needed some work. He then said that despite his own many accomplishments both on and off the bench, he had a twinge of humility when a patient asked, “Are you the guy with Bo?”

At one point breaking from his affable charm, Ed teared up and recalled his late partner. It was apparent that Bo’s talents in inspiring others had included Ed, after whom the Texas campus was named.

Piper And Mike Wyatt Left Rays Behind To Set Their Sights On Vine And Dine Fundraiser For Ability Connection Texas

Mike and Piper Wyatt (File photo)

Mike and Piper Wyatt (File photo)

Piper and Mike Wyatt just returned from Hawaii before the storms hit, and they’re all full of tales about nighttime snorkeling on the Big Island checking out the giant Manta Rays. Leave it to Piper to describe the underwater flappers as “gorgeous and graceful creatures… it was like watching an underwater ballet.”

But now the Wyatts are turning from Rays to fundraising for Ability Connection Texas. Yup, they’re co-chairing the Vine and Dine at Neiman Marcus Downtown on Thursday, November 19. The fundraiser will provide Ability Connection Texas with funds to “empower individuals to live the best life possible by removing barriers that inhibit independence and autonomy.

You remember November. It’s that month when there’s enough of a chill to party without “unwanted glistening” and the holidays are kicking into full gear.

Kevin Garvin (File photo)

Kevin Garvin (File photo)

Back to Vine and Dine. After the cocktail reception at 6 p.m. on the store’s ground level, guests will move up to the sixth floor Zodiac Room for a feast prepared by NM Chef Extraordinaire Kevin Garvin complete with wines. Then the action begins with the live auction of “a limited number of coveted items.”

Piper also reports, “There is also the opportunity to sponsor an Ability Connection client by donating funds to purchase a communication device and give a person with a disability the chance to speak, perhaps for the very first time.”

BTW, the next time you stroll through Klyde Warren Park’s My Best Friend’s Park with your fav pooch, check out the fire hydrant that is very dog-friendly. Piper and Mike Wyatt sponsored it along with John Zogg and his daughter Ellie, Georgia and Gwyneth. It had its dedication last November with the help of a Papillion that just couldn’t wait.

Callier Center Gets A Nice Check And Reveals 2016 Chair And Deets

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Tiffany Divis (File photo)

Angie Kadesky (File photo)

Angie Kadesky (File photo)

There’s no better way to start the week than with good news. So, here goes. The Callier Care Luncheon Chair Tiffany Divis just handed over a check for more than $200,000 to The Callier Center for Communication Disorder at The University of Texas at Dallas.

According to Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Thomas Campbell, “The ability to hear, speak and connect is a precious gift. I am deeply thankful to each and every person who cares about our patients. Their generosity ensures that children and adults have access to essential care regardless of income level or insurance coverage.”

But, wait! Dr. Campbell had more great news. He revealed that the 5th Annual Callier Cares Luncheon will be chaired by Angie Kadesky, who co-chaired last year’s Equest luncheon and that one netted $265,000.

Angie has already set the date and location for the Callier fundraiser. It will take place on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at Brook Hollow. As more deets arrive, you’ll find ‘em here.

Callier Cares Saluted An Attorney And A Doctor Plus A Mom Helped By Callier Center For Communication Disorders And “Hope”

Being a parent doesn’t offer much if one looks at it as a career choice. The hours are a nightmare — 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for a lifetime. There are no raises, vacations or promotions. Working conditions are rugged. Rarely do you have time to yourself. You are likely to graduate from baby spit-ups to staying up all night waiting for your “child” to make it home safely from a date.

Still the longterm benefits are worth it all — grandchildren, hugs and the smiles that grow with the years. The good news is that over the years, the kids do “grow up” and act…well, like grown-ups.

But there are parents who may not look forward to such self-sufficiency and rewards since their children have autism and, depending upon the degree, may be dependent upon their parents all their lives.

Rhoni Golden

Rhoni Golden

That situation became very apparent at Brook Hollow on Thursday, April 30, as Callier Cares Luncheon speaker Rhoni Golden told of the life journey that she, her husband and three children have taken with 9-year-old son Gray, who was severely autistic. As a former physical therapist, Rhoni and her husband aggressively sought help in dealing with Gray’s situation. She told of countless attempts to discover, diagnose and make the best choices for Gray.

Time and again, their efforts were fruitless and frustrating.

One of their chief concerns was their ability to communicate with Gray in any form. It was Callier Center for Communication Disorders that helped the Golden family work through it. After experiencing healthcare providers and organizations that seemed to just go through the motions, she realized that they needed professionals who had both a passion to assist and a track record of success. She found that combination at Callier, so much so that she ended up joining the board and becoming an advocate.

Another turning point in the Golden family was the arrival of Hope, an autism service dog. Literally tethered together with Hope, Gray was able to “join the family on community outings so that everyone enjoyed themselves.”

In conclusion, Rhoni admitted that her family was not a happily-ever-after story. But with the pride of a warrior, she told that her family had dinner at a restaurant without a problem recently. In their world that was better than a straight A report card.

Sharon McCullough and Marilyn Augur

Sharon McCullough and Marilyn Augur

Libby Hunt

Libby Hunt

For those in the audience like Honorary Chair Marilyn Augur, Event Chair Tiffany Divis, Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Linda Custard, Sara Martineau, Tucean and David Webb, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Mary Clare Finney, Heather Furniss, Nancy Hunt and daughter Libby Allred, Elizabeth Fischer and mom Gail Fischer, Patricia Meadows, Jennifer and Coley Clark, Michal Powell, Wanda Farr and Bert Moore, Rhoni was a hero.

Another hero was attorney Mike McCullough, who graciously accepted the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. Having been involved with Callier since its inception in 1963, Mike thanked the Altshulers for their countless contributions to the community, the Callier team, his firm and his family.

Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Mike McCullough

Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Mike McCullough

Tom Campbell and Laurence Leonard

Tom Campbell and Laurence Leonard

Another hero was Dr. Laurence Leonard of Purdue University, who received the 2015 Callier Prize for his work with children and was called a “leading scholar and prolific scientist in the study of children with specific language impairment, a language disorder that delays the mastery of language skills in children who have no hearing loss or significant delays in other developmental areas.”

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery: Callier Cares Luncheon

Lunches are more interesting when someone quietly emerges as a hero. There are the obvious ones who are well known for their professional contributions that go way over the norm — folks like attorney Mike McCullough and medical types like Dr. Laurence Leonard.

Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Mike McCullough

Ken and Ruth Altshuler and Mike McCullough

Tom Campbell and Laurence Leonard

Tom Campbell and Laurence Leonard

And then there others, who despite being dealt a not-so-wonderful hand of cards manage to rise above the fray. Such a person was discovered at the Callier Cares Luncheon on Thursday, April 30, at Brook Hollow Golf Club.

Story is being completed, but check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery to peruse the peeps who were there.

Letter Signing Kicks Off Plans For April 30th Callier Cares Luncheon

For eons there have been reasons to get together to work on a project with friends, have some delicious food and to chat it up. In the mid-19th century, the quilting bee provided an opportunity to create a blanket of several pieces of cloth.

Today, the modern “bee” is the letter signing come together at which men and women hunker down at a table with pens in hand and a stack of letters to personalize. Oh, they do more than sign their John Hancocks. Each signer checks to see if they know the recipient and add a note.

Callier Cares letter signing

Callier Cares letter signing

On Thursday, January 8, one of these letter signing sessions was in high gear for the Thursday, April 30th Callier Cares Luncheon at Brook Hollow Golf Club at Luncheon Chair Tiffany Divis’ home. As promised, there was plenty of food, from snacks on the dining room table to a spread in the kitchen and dining room.

Food for signing

Food for signing

From noon until late afternoon, signers came to tackle the stack of letters.

In the kitchen that was filled with loads of food, Tiffany attempted to demonstrate her Flavia coffee machine with overflowing success. Her black-and-white cat that she found under a bush in Mexico as a kitten sunbathed in the study.

Louise Griffeth arrived with a big smile on her face. Her son had returned for the holiday from serving overseas. At the head of the table was Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Dr. Thomas Campbell, who held his own with the table of gals like Callier Center Foundation Past President Pam Busbee, Leslie Diers, Rhoni Golden, Tricia George, Sara Martineau, Sissy Cullum, Sara Lee Gardner, Kara Goss, Rhonda Marcus, Elsa Norwood, Richard Neely, Carol Seay and Anne McPherson.

Pam Busbee

Pam Busbee

Rhoni Golden

Rhoni Golden

But the real talk of the day was about the Callier Care lunch honoring Mike McCullough this year with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. For years Mike has served as “‘Of Counsel’ to the Foundation for the Callier Center board.”

The event will also present Purdue’s Dr. Laurence Leonard with the Callier Prize, that “recognizes individuals whose leadership and research contributions have promoted scientific advances and significant developments in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders.”

In addition to Tiffany, Marilyn Augur will serve as honorary chair for the Callier Center benefit for the Callier Care Fund.

This luncheon is always an “ear-opener”. Even those who have been attuned to communication disorders for years leave amazed at the developments and stories resulting from the center.

As soon as the speaker is revealed, the news will be posted here! In the meantime, ticket and sponsorship opportunities are available here!

MySweetWishList: Callier Center For Communication Disorders Foundation

According to Callier Center for Communication Disorders Foundation Board Member Tricia George,

Tricia George*

Tricia George*

“My wish is that every girl and boy has the ability to hear. This seems like a simple request, but it’s not a given for every child.

“Every day in America, one to three babies per 1,000 are born deaf or hard of hearing. Can you imagine how it must feel for a new mother, or a new father, to be told that their infant did not pass the newborn hearing screening in the hospital? These parents are discharged at a time that should be joyful, but is now fraught with fear and concern regarding whether their child will live a normal life.

“On top of the emotional stress, many working families struggle financially to provide their child with necessary hearing aids and services. Working parents do not always have the purchase power or insurance coverage to pay for their child’s treatment. In addition, with the significant changes in Medicaid funding, offering treatment to these children is impossible without philanthropic funding.

“A child should not have to grow up without hearing aids. Growing up without hearing aids not only affects a child’s ability to hear, but also affects the child’s ability to develop speech. You have the power to remove these obstacles. You can make a wish come true for a child and his or her family.

Be A HEAR O*

Be A HEAR O*

“On behalf of the Callier Center, I kindly ask you to be a ‘HEAR O’. What is a ‘HEAR O’? Simply stated, a HEAR O helps give a child the ability to hear.

“When you give $1,000, you give a child two hearing aids and three years of follow-up services. Every amount counts. Thank you in advance for giving a child the gift of hearing this holiday season.

“To find out more about how to Be a ‘HEAR O’, contact Shanon Patrick at 214.905.3084 or [email protected]. Please visit the Callier Center at utdallas.edu/calliercenter.”

– Tricia George, Callier Center for Communication Disorders Foundation Board Member

* Photos provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorders Foundation

The Trains At NorthPark With Kid Conductor Ruth Daniel Kicked Off The Ronald McDonald House Of Dallas Fundraiser

Change can be good. And The Trains at NorthPark breakfast kick-off on Saturday, November 22, proved just that.

Tia Wynne and Jamie Singer

Tia Wynne and Jamie Singer

Face painting

Face painting

Connie Yates and Tom Thumb

Connie Yates and Tom Thumb

The biggy change for the annual roll of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas fundraiser was the relocation. Instead of many past Trains at NorthPark being on the upper level between Neiman’s and Nordstroms, the 2014 ever-popular train depot was located downstairs in the old Coldwater Creek space. Event Co-Chairs Jamie Singer and Tia Wynne were thrilled about the relocation and the setting. The rustic boards on the walls made it perfect for trains to roll by.

Ribbon-cutting participants

Ribbon-cutting participants

Another advantage of the lower space was a lot more square footage in the common area to do face painting, balloon-creature making and food.

Still another change was the emcee. In the past couple of years WFAA has been the media sponsor and provided the emcee like Colleen Coyle and Janet St. James. This year the emcee was KXAS news anchor Meredith Land.

Meredith Lamb and Jill Cumnock

Meredith Land and Jill Cumnock

Luckily, there was no change in the presenting sponsor. Once again Bank of Texas was on board.

As for the kid guests, they were darn adorable. One just might suspect they were hired from Central Casting.

While kids and parents partied big time waiting for the doors to open, Honorary Co-Chairs Regen and Dr. Jeffrey Fearon and six-year-old Honorary Conductor Ruth Daniel and her family were touring the collection of trains inside. Surrounded by miniature trains and amazing backdrops, the Daniel family was the real attention getter.

Regen and Jeffrey Fearon, John Daniel, Jeremiah Daniel and Robin Daniel

Regen and Jeffrey Fearon, John Daniel, Jeremiah Daniel and Robin Daniel

In many ways, they looked like the rest of the families on the other side of the doors. But they were truly unique. From Tyler, Robin and John Daniel have seven kids — John David (14), Joshua (11), Rachel (10), Rebekah (8), Josiah (7), Ruth (6) and Jeremiah (16 months). Of that count, five were adopted. Which ones? Who knew and who cared? They were all Daniels.

The Robin and John Daniel's family

The Robin and John Daniel’s family

But it was little Ruth who was the reason for the family’s involvement with Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. This past October 27, Ruth and Jeffrey spent some very serious time together. It was on this day that Jeffrey “performed craniofacial surgery to help Ruth with her severe sleep apnea (by having a Le Forte 1 with a halo distraction performed). He also pinned her ears to better fit her hearing aid and glasses.”

John Daniel and Ruth Daniel

John Daniel and Ruth Daniel

But there were more issues facing the Daniels family. They needed a place to stay during the days leading up to Ruth’s surgery and recovery. It had to be a nurturing place where the staff understood and could assist the family and the little girl, who has Down Syndrome.

According to Jeffrey, “The Ronald McDonald House of Dallas is a unique and very special place. It provides a warm supportive environment where families who have a sick child needing specialized treatment that takes them far from home can rest and decompress from all the associated stresses. My patients uniformly have nothing but wonderful things to say about the House.”

Robin recalled, “I was so glad that she had a place to be able to play and have fun and decrease her stress and anxiety about the upcoming surgery. She loved the outside playground, playroom and the library of children’s books.  When we came back from the hospital to check out of the Ronald McDonald House, all Ruth could talk about was wanting to go play.”

Once again the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas was there to help a family who has sought medical care in Dallas for their child. And once again, the little trains are hitting the rails to provide funding for such a home-away-from-home for these families.

Suicide Is Treatable

With the recent death of comedian/actor Robin Williams swamping social media, the subject of suicide has resulted in a spike of calls to crisis and suicide phone lines. That’s the good news. People are seeking help and the professionals are only a call away.

The bad news is that there are people in need of help, who are not reaching out. If you suspect someone is showing signs of depression, go ahead and call one of these organizations. They’ll help you decide if steps should be taken and how to proceed.

North Texas is fortunate to have such services like the Contact Crisis Hotline and Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. They are free and available 24 hours a day.

Callier Cares Luncheon Honors Sara Martineau For Her Advocation And Compassion

When most folks think info hearing impairment, they think a hearing aid will solve the problem in a snap. Well, that theory was dismissed Tuesday, May 6, at the Dallas Country Club for the 3rd Annual Callier Cares Luncheon honoring Sara Martineau with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Cares Award.

Patricia Meadows and Sara Martineau

Patricia Meadows and Sara Martineau

Looking around the room of fresh young faces and more experienced ones, there was no sign of whom where the beneficiaries and who were the benefactors of the event. First of all, speech and hearing challenges are rarely apparent from a check around a room. It is not apparent to anyone until communication is attempted.

Terry Price

Terry Price

Second, all audio and verbal issues are not limited to loss. Luncheon speaker Director of Music at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Terry Price told of his own battle with Tinnitus, a sound that lives within a person’s head. No one else can hear it and each case is unique, but it can range from a 24-hour bothersome tone to a life-long torment. Thanks to Callier, Terry has been received “innovative care that save his musical life.”

On the other hand, speech can be dramatically affected by stroke or limited use of the tongue.

But thanks to developments resulting from the Callier Center, relief and improvements in both areas have resulted. Not total resolution. Those are still ahead. But the improvement in the lives of patients and the “hope” of recovery are on the table at Callier.

Janet and Troy Dungan and Jill and Tracy Rowlett

Janet and Troy Dungan and Jill and Tracy Rowlett

In the crowd of supporters filling the ballroom to the max were Kersten Rettig, Sarah Losinger, Diane and Stuart Bumpas, Margaret Stafford and Janet and Troy Dungan with old buddies Jill and Tracy Rowlett.

Sara, who has been an ardent supporter of the Center, since the year she chaired the Crystal Charity Ball, when one of its beneficiaries was Callier.

Linda and Bill Custard

Linda and Bill Custard

Perhaps that’s why so many of the CCB crew (Michal Powell, Robyn Conlon, Patty Leyendecker, Christie Carter, Louise Griffeth, Debbie Oates and Barbara Stuart) were on hand in addition to Sara’s fan club members like husband David, Linda and Bill Custard, Joyce and Linus Wright and Patricia Meadows.

But before Sara accepted the award, Co-Chairs/sisters Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum had her longtime friend Ruth Altshuler introduced her.

Sissy Cullum

Sissy Cullum

Betsy Cullum

Betsy Cullum

Ruth admitted that her own grandchildren had held “an intervention” because no matter what they said their grandmother would say, “What?” She then reported that in her own household, she and husband Ken constantly exchange, “What?”’s. As Ken choked hearing Ruth tell the group of their personal experience, Ruth admitted that Ken had already gotten a hearing aid and she had ordered one.

Finishing up her introduction, Ruth told how David Martineau had given Ruth a letter than she had written to Sara decades ago telling her what an outstanding member of the community Sara was.

That was a hard act to follow, but Sara rose to the occasion with eloquence and commitment.