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Callier Cares Luncheon Raises Record $300,000
The Meadows Foundation Receives Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award
May 24, 2018
From left: Bruce Esterline accepted the 2018 Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award on behalf of the Meadows Foundation from Tricia George, Dr. Ken Altshuler and Dr. Tom Campbell.
At the seventh annual Callier Cares Luncheon, the Callier Center for Communication Disorders honored the Meadows Foundation, unveiled the naming of the Altshuler Wing and the Meadows Foundation Wing located inside the Callier Center Expansion on the UT Dallas campus, and raised a record $300,000 for patients in need.
Luncheon chair Beth Thoele and honorary chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte led the effort to raise resources through the Callier Care Fund. Proceeds will benefit children and adults with speech, language and hearing disorders who otherwise could not afford treatment. Ruth and Ken Altshuler established the fund to ensure that individuals could access clinical care, regardless of income level or insurance coverage.
The Meadows Foundation received the 2018 Ruth and Ken Altshuler Callier Care Award. The award is presented annually to an individual or group who has contributed significantly to the betterment of the community and to advancing the care of patients with communication disorders.
Two Wings at Callier Center Expansion Receive Names
Tricia George, president of the Foundation for the Callier Center, introduced the Meadows Foundation, and Dr. Ken Altshuler presented the award. Prefacing the presentation, Callier Center Executive Director Dr. Tom Campbell announced the naming of two wings located within the Callier Center Expansion that are dedicated to patient care and the clinical training of graduate students.
The wing in which audiology services are administered, as well as adult speech and language services, will be named the Altshuler Wing. The wing in which speech-language therapy programs and individual services are conducted for children will be named the Meadows Foundation Wing.
From left: Callier Cares Luncheon honorary chairs Joyce and Larry Lacerte posed with Tricia George, president of the Foundation for the Callier Center, and Beth Thoele, luncheon chair.
“I am honored to represent the (Meadows) Foundation today on this special occasion and particularly to see that the foundation’s name will be associated with the Altshulers and with Callier forever in this wonderful new facility,” said Bruce Esterline, senior vice president for strategic initiatives and grants at the Meadows Foundation.
Speakers Share Their Callier Center Stories
Esterline shared a story about a family whose son was born with congenital heart defects and had significant developmental delays. The family moved to Dallas, unaware of the resources available for him, but was told about an organization called Callier.
“They enrolled their son, and over the next two years, he made significant progress,” Esterline said. “I know this because that was my son.”
“You have created an institution that’s renowned for its academic credibility and its cutting-edge research, but more importantly, you have reshaped how those with communication disorders are treated and served in our community,” Esterline said. “We are incredibly lucky to have you in Dallas, and we thank you for your dedication to the families you serve, and thank you for this award.”
The Meadows Foundation and the Callier Center share a relationship that dates back to the formation of both organizations. One of the first two grants bestowed by the Meadows Foundation was for $500 to the Pilot Institute for the Deaf in 1950. The Pilot Institute, the first center for deaf children in Dallas, evolved into the broad-based institution that provides clinical care for those with communication disorders, now known as the Callier Center.
The Meadows Foundation has furthered Callier’s growth by contributing to the construction of the Callier Advanced Hearing Center in Dallas and the Callier Center Expansion on the UT Dallas campus, paving the way for children and adults across North Texas to overcome speech, language and hearing disorders.
Callier Patient Pursues Acting Career
Featured speakers included the Purcel family, who shared Benjamin Purcel’s story through the perspectives of each family member including Benjamin’s father, Scott; his mother, Pamela; his sister, Bailey, age 11; and Benjamin himself, age 14. When Scott and Pamela discovered that Benjamin was deaf at 18 months of age, they turned to the Callier Center.
Featured speakers, the Purcel family, included, from left, Benjamin, Pamela, Bailey and Scott.
“From the moment we placed the first phone call back in 2005 for the initial Callier Center appointment through today, the loving care of the Callier Center staff, their audiologists and Benjamin’s speech therapist has been the greatest thing for my family,” Scott said. “That is why I am honored to be a Callier Center board member since 2015.”
Benjamin has received audiology and speech-language services through the Cochlear Implant Program, which serves children who are deaf from infancy to 18 years of age.
“But deafness does not define Benjamin,” Pamela said. “Callier Center has always given us the tools to ensure this.
"Originally, I think our biggest fear was all the things that Benji was going to miss out on. Then, we realized we were terribly mistaken. Like so many children with cochlear implants, deafness has not limited his interests, his passions or his participation.”
Benjamin is an actor and has performed in musicals, reciting long monologues and singing and dancing onstage. One summer, he studied with Broadway performers in New York City through a scholarship that he received. Now, he has a talent agent in Dallas.
“As you can hopefully tell, the years of speech therapy paid off, and I can speak clearly in front of an audience like you,” Benjamin said.
The eighth annual Callier Cares Luncheon will be held April 15, 2019. Contributions to the Callier Care Fund can be made online.
Media Contact: Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].