Charity Profile: Deaf Action Center of Louisiana
Name: The Betty and Leonard Phillips Deaf Action Center.
Location: 601 Jordan St, Shreveport, Louisiana
Mission: To achieve full community life for children and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing — by empowering one person at a time.
Executive director: David W. Hylan Jr.
Board members: Lindsay Atkins, Kristen Bernard, Lori Bertrand, Kelly Bucklew, Robin Covington, Dori Cush, Teresa Dean, Rhonda Dossett, Jim Hayes, Christine Hayes, Kristen Helm, Cindy Herzog, Gregory Kallenberg, Heidi Kallenberg, Jeffrey Kallenberg, Randolph Kallenberg, Sandi Kallenberg, Tina Kallenberg, Donnell Kellum, Mary Jean Lewis, Glenda Mathis, Elijah McCullough, Greg Pawlikowski, Alexa Phillips, Carin Phillips, Cassidy Phillips, Christopher Phillips, Collin Phillips, Shannon Phillips, Sue Phillips, Rishea Richards, Maurie Rosen, Bradley Schlosser, Kimberly Schlosser, Patty Warmack, Ellen White, Kathleen Wiener, April Wilson, Gay Wingo, Geraldine Zelinsky.
Signature event or fundraiser: Las Vegas Night takes place the first weekend of December on odd-numbered years at Wine Country Bistro. Since 1985, Las Vegas Night has provided a night of gaming, live and silent auction prizes and exquisite food. Tickets are $250 and include $500 to play blackjack, roulette and craps, all of which are led by professional dealers. Additional chips are available for purchase. Both live and silent auction prizes are up for grabs and include everything from jewelry, spa packages, sports memorabilia, and artwork. Wine Country Bistro provides an open bar and a buffet. The event is black-tie optional. Shannon and Christopher Phillips, the grandchildren of Betty Phillips, chaired the 2013 event. This is seen as a “passing of the torch” to the next generation and continues the family’s commitment to the deaf community. All of the funds raised at Las Vegas Night are used to underwrite the center’s programming for the next two years. The fundraising goal is usually around $300,000. The event raised nearly that amount in 2011, and the money becomes even more critical each year.
To volunteer or make donations: Call Raydra Hall at 425-7781 or visit http://www.deafactioncenter.org.
Question: What are some of the services or programs offered through the Deaf Action Center?
Deaf Action Center: Sign Language Interpreting Services (24/7), case management, video remote interpreting, webcast production, video production, sign language classes.
Q.: What is the one thing you hope to accomplish through this mission?
DAC: We hope to bring about a world where deaf and hard of hearing people are given full access and empowered to live a life of their choosing. The Deaf Action Center has been serving people who are deaf, hard of hearing and multi-handicapped for 33 years. The primary focus of the center is to provide professional American Sign Language interpreting services for a full spectrum of needs, including doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, interviews and job training, courtrooms and elementary to college-level classrooms.
Q: Where does the majority of your funding come from?
DAC: Charitable contributions, grants, and fees for service. The Deaf Action Center has had to deal with the loss of nearly $260,000 in state funds over the past three years. Las Vegas Night ensures that we continue to provide invaluable services to the 18,000 deaf, hard of hearing people, their families and allies in northwest Louisiana.
Q: What is one thing about the Deaf Action Center that people might not know?
DAC: That we are available 24/7.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable moments for the Deaf Action Center?
DAC: When we received $1.4 million from the federal government to establish our video remote interpreting service and webcast production studio.
Q: Do all Deaf Action Center employees and volunteers know sign language?
DAC: 95 percent of all staff and volunteers know how to sign.