Campaign co-chairs Laurie Haffenreffer and Eugene Toombs III announced the achievement of Central Institute for the Deaf’s $25 million goal for the Making Conversations Happen Centennial Campaign. From June 2012 through January of 2016 (flanking CID’s 100th anniversary in 2014), the St. Louis community raised $25,190,060 to support expansion of CID’s work to educate children and professionals. Former CID board president and executive director Robert Clark and life board member Joanne Knight were the campaign’s honorary chairs. Additional CID board members served on the Centennial Campaign Cabinet.
CID executive director Robin Feder said the campaign gained a substantial boost from donors making key leadership gifts, including Virginia J. Browning, Joanne and Charles Knight, Anabeth and John Weil, Emerson and the Estate of Martha Jones. Three new centers were established: the Anabeth and John Weil Early Childhood Center, the Virginia J. Browning Primary School, and the Emerson Center for Professional Development.
“We’re so very grateful for all of the individuals, foundations and corporations committed to giving children opportunities to communicate they would not otherwise have,” Feder said. “Their contributions make an enormous difference in the lives of families and their children’s prospects for the future.”
Additional leadership gifts came from the William R. Orthwein, Jr. & Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation, the Crawford Taylor Foundation, Centene Corporation and the Guth Foundation, among many others, with 685 donors in all. “In addition, we had full board participation,” Feder said. “Donations from our CID board members account for more than $6.5 million of the total.”
CID teaches children who are deaf and hard of hearing listening, speech and spoken language. Over the past 11 years, CID’s school has accommodated a 174 percent growth in children served—up 17 percent from 2014 to 2015 alone. The school served a total of 225 children last year. The campaign will accommodate the expanded school population and will build on CID’s important work to prepare teachers, speech-language pathologists, early intervention providers and other professionals to help more children effectively acquire these skills. Supported by the campaign, recent renovations include four new classrooms, four new speech-language therapy pullout rooms, two new audiology suites, classroom renovations, expanded family space, and a new Emerson Center for Professional Development wing.
“CID has an international reputation for providing tools and techniques for teachers, speech-language pathologists and other professionals,” Emerson Center coordinator Ann Holmes said. “Support from this campaign will enable us to take advantage of today’s communication and marketing tools, as we continue to explore the most promising models for service delivery. Our goal is to create unprecedented access to CID expertise.” In recent years, CID has developed online courses, revised classic curricula, held state- and university-sponsored workshops and created niche educational tools based on current needs in the field.
Most funds raised by the CID Centennial Campaign are earmarked for endowment. Most of the 13 newly established endowed funds are for school scholarships. “The generosity of the St. Louis community continues to make it possible for us to accept students with hearing loss regardless of their family’s financial situation,” Feder said.