MySweetWishList: Callier Center For Communication Disorders

According to Callier Center for Communication Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell,

Tom Campbell*

“You probably know the song, ‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.’ Please bear with me for a refresher of the chorus:

‘All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
‘My two front teeth
‘See my two front teeth
‘Gee, if I could only have my two front teeth
‘Then I could wish you, “Merry Christmas’

“As I was brushing my teeth this morning, I wondered, what if the lyric was ‘All I want for Christmas is the ability to hear and speak.’ It doesn’t have the same ring to it as the song, but I know that children who are deaf or hard of hearing feel this way.

“This holiday season, most of us will be able to hear and even sing Christmas carols and holiday songs. We will be able to hear and speak with family members and friends, as we gather at holiday parties. But not everyone is able to hear and speak, communicate with their loved ones, hear music and sing.

“To complicate matters, many insurance plans, even Medicaid, only partially cover the cost of audiology and speech-language services. Thus, many families cannot afford the clinical care necessary to treat a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. These families seek a place that will help them, but unfortunately many clinics across North Texas have stopped seeing patients with Medicaid. Where do these children go? The Callier Center.

“I am proud that the Callier Center has chosen differently. We are committed to transforming the lives of all patients regardless of their income level or insurance coverage. It is a privilege to serve those who are less fortunate, but we cannot do it without you.

“When you give to the Callier Center, you open the door for a family in need. We provide the expertise of audiologists and speech-language pathologists, leading-edge technology, research and care.

“The ability to hear and speak should be a given, but that is not always the case. You have the power to ensure that a family’s limited finances do not become a barrier to care. Will you open the door for someone in need today? Will you grant a child’s wish to hear and speak?

“Please give to the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.”

-By Dr. Tom Campbell, Callier Center for Communication Disorder executive director

* Photo provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorder

The Sounds Of Campers’ Laughter And Cheers Filled Callier Center’s Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp In July

Imagine a vacuum of sound. At first blush, it may not seem like a big deal. For oldsters, it may mean say, “What did you say?” to a spouse on a regular basis. But real true loss of hearing means that the other senses like sight, touch and taste are ramped up to sensory overload to compensate. Someone appears without warning. A slight pat on the shoulder is a shock.

That’s why cochlear implants have been a breathtaking development for those with hearing challenges.

But the implants are just part of the journey for those with hearing challenges. Especially youngsters going through the usual aging process may feel like they are truly the only ones in this world of audio developments. True, they are unique, but they are not alone.

And that’s why Callier Center for Communication Disorders’ Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp from Monday, July 24, thru Friday, July 28, was so important. During this time, 43 munchkins from four to 11 years old and a team of graduate students from the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas serving as counselors gathered at Cross Creek Ranch in Parker County to discover that they could play games, scamper through the outdoors, dance, do crafts and just be playmates.

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Callier Center campers

Despite the 90-degree temperatures, the kids didn’t mind one bit racing with beach balls and trying to captures bubbles.

But the big eye opener was grownup Richard Neely. He had an aura of happiness and success about him. But what got the kids’ attention were his cochlear implants. With his smile and proudly letting them see his cochlear implants, he was a rock star.

Another standout adult was a counselor, who had been one of these munchkins years ago.

Eavesdropping on the activities were the Callier Cares and Chi Omega representative Jane Porter. Callier’s Cochlear Implant Program had been selected to be one of the 2017 Chi Omega Christmas Market beneficiaries.

Jane Porter

John Stuart

Beth Thoele

Tricia George

Bennett Cullum and Tom Campbell

Kristi Shewmaker and Linus Wright

As the Callier Center types like Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart, Bennett Cullum, Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele, Sara Martineau and Tricia George watched, they were amazed that despite the July weather, the campers were in overdrive laughing, teasing and just being kids.

As one counselor smiled looking at the campers running about, “They’ll sleep well tonight.”

For more photos of the Callier Camp, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

MySweetCharity Photo Gallery Alert: Callier Center’s Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp

Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Campers

While Camp Longhorn and Camp Mystique were underway in other parts of Texas, Callier Center’s Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camp was taking place from Monday, July 24, to Friday, July 28, at Cross Creek Ranch in Parker County. It was pretty much like other summer camps with outdoor activities, lots of laughter, a couple of scrapes, crafts and palling around. But this one wasn’t just for anyone. These campers were unique. You might say they were high tech with their cochlear implants. Their counselors were graduate students form the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences at UT Dallas.  

Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camper

Cochlear Implant Summer Listening Camper

While the post is being prepared, check out the smiles on the faces of the kids and the adults at MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Awardee Kern Wildenthal Highlights A ‘Perfect’ Callier Cares Luncheon At The Dallas Country Club

Even before the doors opened to the Dallas Country Club ballroom, the Callier Cares Luncheon VIP reception filled the Founders Room on Thursday, April 20. Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson was with husband Claude Wilson and Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and all smiles over the sold-out Callier Care Fund fundraiser.

Kern Wildenthall, Emilynn and Claude Wilson

In another part of the room, Beth Layton was sporting a new haircut and talking with Chick Lit Co-Chair Tricia George.

Beth Layton and Tricia George

Barbara and John Stuart

Dee Wyly and Jill Rowlett

Marnie Wildenthal and Cyndi Bassel

Others in the crowd were Callier Center Foundation Chair John Stuart and his wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center for Communications Disorders Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, Dan Branch, Angie Kadesky, Brent Christopher, Heidi Cannella, Lindalyn Adams, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Dee Collins and Kern’s wife Marnie Wildenthal and longtime assistant Cyndi Bassel.

Callier Cares Luncheon table

When the doors did open to the ballroom, it was pretty obvious that Emilynn had definitely filled the room to capacity. It was surprising that she didn’t try to put a table on the stage.

As guests like Keith Cerny, Caren Prothro,  Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, Lynn McBee, and Dr. Lynn Markle made their way into the room for lunch—Southwest Roasted Chicken Chop Salad and Chocolate Caramel Cake were on the menu—Tom welcomed everyone and kicked off the program. The annual Callier Prize in Communication Disorders Award, it was announced right off the bat, would go to Dr. Sharon G. Kujawa, an associate professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Kujawa graciously accepted the award, which came for her groundbreaking work that has instigated a paradigm shift in the way researchers and health workers think about noise-induced and age-related hearing loss and inner ear injury. She gave way to luncheon Chair Emilynn and then to Stuart Bumpas and Dr. Ken Altshuler, who presented the annual Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award to Kern.

During his many years as president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Kern had helped nourish a relationship between UT Southwestern and the Callier Center that resulted in the Callier Child Development Program, the Cochlear Implant Program, and a joint program to evaluate and treat children with autism.

“I couldn’t have been more pleased, knowing that Emilynn Wilson would chair this event, because I knew it would be perfect in all regards,” Kern told the guests. “Callier is an organization I heard about many years ago. It epitomizes the best of what all academic institutions try to do … and it does so in an impeccable manner, and in collaboration with other institutions.

“For four decades I’ve wanted to add Ken and Ruth Altshuler’s name to my name,” Kern concluded with a smile. “And, now I can!”

Then, following an informative video and just before keynote speaker Richard Neely was to deliver his remarks, the podium microphone went dead for some reason. That gave Richard—an emeritus trustee of the Callier foundation and a profoundly deaf person who has cochlear implants—the perfect opening to begin his talk. “When the mic went out, I thought, to the people who could hear: welcome to my world!” Richard joked.

The former CFO for a local real estate investment company and a former SMU football star, Richard recounted his struggles with hearing loss and, ultimately, how he overcame them—with no small thanks to the cochlear implants. After he got his “first one in 2008,” he laughed, he complained to his wife that “she was crinkling the newspaper!” 

According to Emilynn, the 2017 luncheon will provide a whopping $278,450 for the Callier Center for Communication Disorder’s Callier Care Fund at the University of Texas at Dallas. 2018 Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele was already making plans for her effort to help “ensure that resources are available for patients and families” in need of financial assistance for speech, language and hearing disorders..

Callier Cares Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson’s Smile At The Patron Party Indicated Her High Expectations For The Fundraiser Would Be Achieved

Emilynn Wilson

On the evening of Thursday, April 13, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for about 80 guests to be chauffeured via golf carts over the bridge past the tennis court and around the fountain to Lisa and Clay Cooley’s mansion.

Inside, the Callier Cares Luncheon patron party was under way, with Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson looking quite happy. It seems that she had set her sights high for the Callier Care Fund, and gave all indications that she was right on target for the April 20th fundraiser at the Dallas Country Club.

Ken and Ruth Altshuler

Bob Dyer

Di Johnston

David and Sara Martineau

While Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Awardee Dr. Kern Wildenthal and wife Marnie Wildenthal were in New York and unable to attend the patron party, there were plenty of other high rollers in the crowd. They included Callier Center Foundation President John Stuart and wife Barbara Stuart, Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell, 2014 Callier Care Awardee Sara Martineau and her husband David Martineau, Claude Wilson, Cindy Turner, Tricia George, Kyle Edgington, Dee Wyly, Jill Rowlett, Di Johnston, Bob Dyer, and Ruth and Ken Altshuler, who had created the Callier Care Award.

Also arriving as some were leaving were Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson, as well as Brent Christopher. Cracked Brent: “As long as the hors d’oeuvres are still out, I’m okay!”

JUST IN: 2017 Callier Cares Luncheon Nets $278,450

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson is a very happy camper. After chairing the sold-out Callier Cares Luncheon on Thursday, April 20, at the Dallas Country Club, she just heard from the number crunchers about the day’s results.

Whoa! The net proceeds from the event were $278,450. The funds will benefit the Callier Center for Communication Disorders‘s Callier Care Fund.

Of course, Emilynn is sharing the glory with her Honorary Chair Lisa Troutt and the honorees Dr. Kern Wildenthal and Dr. Sharon Kujawa.

Next year’s Callier Cares Chair Beth Thoele has her work cut out. Next Tuesday she’s chairing the Can Do! Luncheon at the Dallas Country Club. In September she’s chairing the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show at Brook Hollow on Tuesday, October 3. But she’s already got Brook Hollow locked down for the Tuesday, April 17th Callier Luncheon. Looks like Beth is gonna be a busy camper.

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.

In Addition To Chairing 2017 Callier Cares, Emilynn Wilson Will Receive KidneyTexas’ 2016 Sue Goodnight Award

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

McKamy Tiner (File photo)

Emilynn Wilson is going to be a busy gal in the months ahead. Not only is she chairing the 2017 Callier Cares fundraiser for Callier Center for Communications Disorders, she’s gonna be on the receiving end of accolades. On Tuesday, September 20, she’ll be presented the Sue Goodnight Award at KidneyTexas’ “The Runway Report” luncheon and fashion show at Brook Hollow that’s being chaired by McKamy Tiner.

The 2016 beneficiaries include Children’s Health/Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Camp Reynal – National Kidney Foundation, Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Parkland Foundation, Dallas Methodist Hospitals Foundation and Texas Health Resources Foundation.

MySweetWishList: Callier Center For Communications Disorders

According to Callier Center for Communication Disorders Executive Director Dr. Thomas Campbell,

Thomas Campbell*

Thomas Campbell*

“I would like to share a story about Marie, who is one of our patients in the Communication Learning Program (CLP) at the Callier Center. CLP is a community-based program that provides speech and language therapy to adults who are faced with significant communication disabilities due to acquired neurological disorders such as stroke or traumatic brain injury.

“One Friday morning, Marie did not arrive at her job. Her sister asked Marie’s neighbor, who had a key, to check in on her. The neighbor found Marie on the floor and called 911.

“At age 51, Marie had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke that left her in the ICU in a medically induced coma. After 21 days in the ICU, seven days in the high dependency unit, and approximately seven weeks of rehab, Marie was released.

Kelly and Marie*

Kelly and Marie*

“Marie was still very weak. She had to learn to do everything over again: talk, walk, dress herself, eat and so much more. She could no longer live by herself, so she stayed with her sister. Before her family would let her move back home, Marie needed to be able to communicate.

“For three years, Marie has received extensive one-on-one and group speech and language therapy in CLP. CLP has helped Marie improve her communication skills, including using an iPad to help her speak. Because of CLP, Marie has moved back into her home and is living independently.

“The majority of CLP participants, like Marie, have either exhausted their insurance benefits or have no benefits at all, leaving them with no means to access continued treatment. Thanks to support from generous donors, we are able to care for these patients. Each patient is asked to pay a minimal fee of $250 per twelve-week period. For those unable to pay, the fee is reduced or waived.

“Unfortunately, we all know someone who has suffered from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury, whether it be a parent, grandparent or a friend. Please help someone’s loved one reclaim his or her life by supporting the CLP Program at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

“For more information, please contact Shanon Patrick at 214.905.3084 or visit

-By Dr. Thomas Campbell, Callier Center for Communication Disorders executive director

* Photos provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorders

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.

Round Robin April 22: Callier Cares, Cherish The Children And Legends And Leaders Patron Parties

Once again North Texas was being threatened with all types of storms on Wednesday, April 22. Gee. This is getting old. Still, the Heroes and Handbags held a wrap-up party at Alexander McQueen in Highland Park Village; Battle of the Chefs was waging a foodie fight at Frontiers of Flight Museum for the Texas Neurofibromatosis Foundation; and AWARE patrons were OMG-ing at Margaret McDermott’s home-sweet-home with Barbara Sypult chairing. Needless to say, nobody wanted to leave Margaret’s “cottage.”

Other patron parties taking place throughout the area included:

Callier Cares Patron Reception

Over at Libby and David Hunt’s home in Volk Estates, it was a family affair. The occasion was the Callier luncheon’s Callier Cares patron party for the fundraiser luncheon on Thursday, April 30, at Brook Hollow.

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

Mike and Sharon McCullough and Ruth and Ken Altshuler

The family angle was Mike McCullough, who would receive the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Award for his years of advising Callier. If you’re brand new on the subject or are just having a momentarily “Can’t remember” second, Mike is the dad of Libby Hunt. See the connection?

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Tiffany Divis, Libby Hunt, Tom Campbell, Betsy Cullum, Sissy Cullum and Barbara Stuart

Another connection for the night was the gathering of past and present Callier Cares chairs Barbara Stuart, Libby, Sissy Cullum, Betsy Cullum and Tiffany Divis (2015).

Bob and Ann Dyer

Bob and Ann Dyer

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

Patricia Meadows and Carol Seay

As Ruth and Ken arrived, Carol Seay, Patricia Meadows, Richard Neely, Carolyn Lupton, Jean Lattimore, Paul Divis, Dr. Tom Campbell and John Stuart were already in place to learn that Angie Kadesky has agreed to chair the 2016 luncheon benefiting Callier.

Cherish The Children Patron Party

Dallas CASA was just plain being adorable with acclaimed impressionist-expressionist artist Leoma Lovegrove at the still-new Dallas CASA headquarters. Leoma’s work of art will be auctioned off at the Cherish The Children Luncheon on Thursday, May 7, at the Dallas Country Club.

You can expect a lot of Thetas in the room. The reason? They’ll be the honorees for their work in raising funds for Dallas CASA.

Legends And Leaders Patron Party

While mom Margaret McDermott was hosting the AWARE patrons at her home, daughter Mary McDermott Cook was having a party for the VNA‘s Legends and Leaders Luncheon patrons.

Perhaps it was ironic that the party was being held on Earth Day at Mary’s “Dump Top,” a home that’s set atop a blend of glorified recycling items.

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Mary McDermott, Dan Patterson and Tom Brokaw

Still the glorious Bill Booziotis-designed creation continues to be jaw dropping. Some may not know that Mary and VNA featured speaker Tom Brokaw share a wrist-twisting interest — fly fishing. While some waited in line to have photos taken with Brokaw or have their books signed by the noted journalist/author, Mary and Tom compared wrist techniques.

 John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

John and Lynne Sears and Mary McDermott Cook and Dan Patterson

Before discussing fishy ways with Tom, Mary was recalling school days at Dallas Country Day School on Lomo Alto with fellow grad John Sears. She told how her dad (Eugene McDermott) and John’s lawyer grandfather had been great friends. They never mentioned the fact that both men were outstanding leaders in 20th century Dallas.

Rena Pederson

Rena Pederson

Mary recalled how Sundays had the kids lined up and asked what they had learned during the week by John’s grandfather. If their answers were right, he rewarded them with a dollar. Mary lived to collect those dollars.

Others in the crowd included Lyda Hill fresh from receiving the 2015 Mary Harriman Award. She didn’t have much time to kick back and enjoy the accolades. She was headed to South Africa in connection with the National Geographic project that she’s supporting…Rena Pederson blushing over the accolades that she’s been receiving about her book, “The Burma Spring.”

As for Tom, he looked a bit weary, and why not. The man, who just turned 75, had just announced in December that he was in remission from his battle with cancer.

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.



“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”

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

* Photos provided by Callier Center for Communication Disorders Foundation

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.

Callier Cares Luncheon Fundraiser To Honor Sara Martineau And Raise Funds For Communication Disorders

If you were asked which one of your senses would you miss the most, hearing might not be the #1 on the list. Perhaps it’s just taken for granted. But if you’ve experienced the loss of hearing or the ability to communicate, then you just might ramp it up to the top spot.

Kersten Rettig (File photo)

Kersten Rettig (File photo)

Kersten Rettig, who lost the hearing in one ear years ago, just learned that the hearing in her other ear is in jeopardy. As she described it recently,

“I am losing my hearing. Today, this very minute, I hear the internal roar of impending hearing loss in one ear. My good ear. 13 years ago I lost 100% of my hearing in my right ear due to a still undiagnosed illness. Since then, I’ve had episodes in which the noise inside my head turns up and I hear what sounds like a jet engine and clicking in my skull. That is what impending hearing loss sounds like and I hope you never hear it. I’m on medication to help prevent more loss but a hearing test Monday revealed I’ve already gone from moderate to severe hearing loss in the one that works. I could wake up tomorrow and hear, or I could wake up tomorrow to something else. Think about what you like to hear, your children’s voices, beautiful music, the sound of your own voice, and really treasure it while you have it. And if you think about it, please say a little prayer that I can hear those things a little longer.”

Sara Martineau (File photo)

Sara Martineau (File photo)

That’s a very strong message that needs heeding. But it’s a message that the folks at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders appreciate and understand. They’ve been at the forefront in communications disorders since 1963 (aka 51 years).

This year the 3rd Annual Callier Cares Luncheon fundraiser will be held at the Dallas Country Club on Tuesday, May 6, to honor petite blonde fundraiser Sara Martineau with the Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Cares Award. The award is “presented annually to an individual or group of individuals who has contributed significantly to advancing the care of patients with communication disorders.” Sara fits the description to a “T”. In addition to being a longtime advocate for Callier, she is also past president of the Foundation for Callier Center.

Luncheon Co-Chairs Betsy Cullum and Sissy Cullum have arranged for the keynote speaker to be Terry Price, who in addition to being director of music at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, is also a “grateful patient” of Callier.

Proceeds from the luncheon will go to the Callier Care Fund to “help children and adults who would otherwise be unable to afford treatment to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.”

Tickets are available right here.