Happy New Year to our cherished friends and families of KODAWest! Allow us to take a moment to recognize and show our appreciation to all of our supporters throughout a fantastic year!
KODAWest Family Conference The KODAWest Family Conference at the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness (GLAD) would not have been possible without the amazing keynote speaker, Audrey Frank, guest speakers: Richard Ray, Heidi Booth, Jeff & Rocky Turner, Anthony Bettencourt of Disabled Advocacy Group, A Professional Law Corporation (DAG), Johanna Fannon & Nathan Travers of the College Planning Experts; and to all of our compassionate and selfless volunteers: Maisha Franklin, Cindy Herbst, Francine Stern, Helen Young, Lydia Glasgow, Damaris Castro, Marcy Woodard, Kristine Hall, Debra Gilmore, Nanoor Shahin, Sherry Hicks, Cindi Safford, Mona & Mohammad Mehrpour, Danielle Delgado, Monessa Chahayed, Ashley Stacy, Kenton Hostetler, Tina Jo Breindel, Vanessa Marsh, and Dr. Patricia Hughes. Sponsored by GLAD, DAG, and donations from Panda Cares, Dominoes, Starbucks, Porto’s & Western Bagels, we thank you for helping us to help empower the KODA families of our community.
Shamrocks for KODAs Our 5th annual poker fundraiser was held once again at the beautiful home of Scott & Terrie Berdy. We found our pot of gold with the wonderful people who help us make this happen: Maisha Franklin, Michelle Fisette Botte, Susie Baierl, Raymond Chahayed, Carole-Ann Bader, Terri Vincent, Desiree Cartmell, Holly Savage, Gloria Moriarty, Bill Hodgson, Vanessa Marsh, Sharon Wilson, Blanca Calbert, Ashley Stacy, Candace Hodgson, Don Burnes, Lisa Price, Mark Baldiviez, and Neil Thompson. All of your support has enabled several underserved children the privilege to attend our camp. On their behalves, we thank you!
Seeds For Tomorrow Our 4th biennial benefit was held at the breathtakingly beautiful Descanso Gardens, in La Canada Flintridge, CA. Hosted by Shoshannah Stern and Ricky Mitchell, they entertained our generous patrons in raising critical funds for KODAs. Very special thanks to Allisun Kale and Drew Tolson who selflessly contributed their interpreting services. Recognitions and honors for extraordinary service to KODAWest were given to: Molly Bowen, Diane Brooks, Don Burnes and Scott & Beth Hostetler. Zak Taylor and Jessica Smario conducted the live auction of items which were generously donated by Tina Jo Breindel & Joe Dannis, Carole-Ann & Todd Bader, Gerri Perna, Stephanie Johnson, Sharon Wilson, Derek Nunn, and Spot On Interpreting. Entertainment was provided by the very funny duo, John Maucere & Paul Raci, as well as Team KODA's Linnea Chahayed & Zak Taylor. Special thanks to Maisha Franklin and Cindi Safford for their help in ensuring that the event ran smoothly and to Mojahedi Photography for taking beautiful photos.
This event was sponsored by the following, to who we are forever grateful:
· AT&T California Relay Services
· Purple Communications
· Sign Language Company
National KODA Awareness Day ~ June 21 This is the 2nd annual KODA Awareness Day. KODAs across the country were celebrated and recognized for their unique bi-cultural identities. Don't forget to red-circleJune 21st to celebrate your KODA children.
KODAWest Camp The 8th annual KODAWest Camp took place on the charming Catalina Island, dubbed KODA Island, directed by Molly Bowen and assisted by Gil Lensbower, aka G5. A great time was had by over 100 KODA campers and a staff of 35 CODAs as they spent a week away from the mainland. We thank the CODAs for continuing to bring their spirit and wisdom to our KODAs at the yearly camp, which was made possible by the following sponsors:
· The GreeneLight Foundation
· Sprint Relay
· SJ Communications
· AT&T California Relay Services
· Joe & Gina Sanders
· Bummy Burstein
· Purple Communications
Heartfelt thanks to our sponsors for helping us to make this camp a success. Your generosity knows no bounds.
Day at the Beach Our 9th annual Day at the Beach took place, once again, at the renowned Huntington Beach. Families from near and far participated and many parents and kids were enlightened about what it means to be a KODA. When just one learns of this great truth, we can chalk another one up for KODAhood.
DeaFestivaLA KODAWest was seen at the DeaFestival, hosting a booth and meeting many old and new families. Team KODA provided live entertainment throughout the day.
Big CODA Little KODA Mentorship Program We are thrilled to say we have matched five KODAs with mentors this year. We could not have done this without Danielle Delgado, Vanessa Marsh, Ashley Stacey, Vadim Reytblat and Monessa Chahayed who have selflessly contributed to this cause. If you know any KODAs who could benefit a CODA mentor or anyone interested in becoming a mentor, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
No Ordinary Hero Movie In the fall, KODAWest presented an evening at the movies, showing No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie, featuring several KODAs and CODAs. If you have not seen the movie, it is a must-see!
Halloween Harvest Festival Pierce College Farms made it possible for KODAWest families to attend this renowned annual festival, which is one of the largest in Southern California. A special discount was given to KODA families, which enabled them to experience huge corn mazes, hay rides, haunted houses and trails, caramel apples, kettle corn and much more.
CSUN-NCOD 50th Anniversary Gala Past John Bulwer Award recipient, KODAWest was invited to present the same prestigious award to the Deaf Education and Family Project (DEAF) at the California State University, Northridge (CSUN)'s National Center on Deafness (NCOD)’s 50th Anniversary Gala, for their tireless commitment to serving the community.
Technology & Website Ginormous thanks go to Maisha Franklin and Scott Hostetler for their expertise in maintaining our website and proving tech services throughout the year!
Once Upon a Time @ Barnes & Noble Throughout this year, we had five readings. Multitudes of thanks to our reader teams: Charles & Ashlyn Katz, Jeff & Elynora Taylor, Erika, Caleb & Blake Thompson, Daniela Maucere, Tami Bader, Kristine & Kalissa Hall, Antoinette Abbamonte, Vae, The Mitchell Family, Stephanie Johnson and Calista Paine. Very special thanks to our voice interpreters, Monessa & Linnea Chahayed, Zak Taylor and Daniela Maucere. Much appreciation and gratitude go to Diane Brooks, of the Burbank Barnes & Noble, for giving KODAWest this wonderful opportunity to share stories through the beauty of ASL.
UPCOMING EVENTS-Confirmed dates
• January 15, Camp Applications will be posted • February 8, StoryTime at Barnes & Noble • March 21, Shamrocks for KODAs, Poker Charity in San Diego • April 19, StoryTime at Barnes & Noble in Burbank • June 29-July 5, 9th Annual KODAWest Camp on Catalina Island • August 22, 10th Anniversary of KODAWest Day at the Beach, Huntington Beach
Please stay tuned as we fill in dates for 2015 with more activities. If you have ideas, as always, we are open to them. Thank you for your continued support during our 10 years of existence! We look forward to a smashing 2015!
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