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Hands and Voices
June 6, 2013 11:26 AM | Tagged as CIAF, District 23, Socks for Sound

A big hug and special thank you to Cari Piper for writing about D23 in this month's issue of Illinois Hands and Voices...you did such a great job!

 
DISTRICT 23: Cool store with a cool mission! 
 
District 23 is a home décor store in Springfield that not only sells unique and beautiful items, but has a unique and very special purpose. This store is completely volunteer run, and all proceeds go to the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF). Simply put, CIAF was created to help people who need financial assistance related to their cochlear implants.  Whether it be to have a part replaced, assistance in gas money for the many trips out of town to the nearest CI center for appointments, or to provide recycled implant parts as part of their Trash to Treasure program. It takes a very special, dedicated person to take all of this from a dream to reality, and Michelle Tjelmeland did just that. Michelle not only founded CIAF in 2005 and District 23 this year, but is a CI recipient herself. To add even more to her experience, her oldest daughter, Ellie, who is now 15, is also a CI user. Due to their hard work, and the help and support of her family (husband Joel, and younger daughter, Lucy), friends and community, over 500 families have been assisted by CIAF with many more to come, now thanks to the addition of District 23. The store is located in a renovated home, and the upper space is allocated to the workshop for the “elves” who have already begun working this year on the newest creation for the Socks for Sound fundraiser, also to benefit CIAF. We have been blessed to be involved with Michelle and these programs from the beginning. I reached out to Michelle in late 2005 when our son, Caleb, who is now almost 9 years old, had received his first implant from Children’s Hospital in St Louis. Living in Springfield, the high cost of gasoline for the very frequent trips back and forth became a burden on our family, and Michelle graciously & quickly accepted my request and provided me with gas cards to help. I am fortunate enough to now be able to give back and support the foundation and the store, and volunteer with Socks for Sound each week, working with the other “elves” on the 2013 design, and of course shopping at District 23. The Springfield community has welcomed the store and keeps it packed with customers when it is open every other weekend. Don’t live in central Illinois? Don’t worry! You can visit the store’s website and order online, and “like” their Facebook page to get updates. Keep your eyes peeled for new items added often. Check out the Socks for Sound website on ways you can help with the fundraising project, or to order the new design later this year! Visit these websites for more information: www.socksforsound.com, www.ciafonline.org, www.district23.com
 

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SOB Festival Announces 2013 Recipient Charity
May 22, 2013 9:05 AM

 Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation Will Benefit From the Event’s Net Proceeds

 
Springfield, IL, May 17, 2013– The planning committee for the Springfield Oyster and Beer Festival has chosen the recipient charity for 2013.  Proceeds from the 4th annual SOB Festival, as it’s more recognizably known, will go to the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF).
CIAF founder, Michelle Tjelmeland, shared her enthusiasm about this announcement by saying, “I am thrilled and honored that the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation has been given this amazing gift.  The generosity of the people behind the SOB Festival is going to allow CIAF to reach so many more families dealing with hearing loss and maintaining cochlear implants.”
After considering many worthy local charities, organizers ultimately chose CIAF because of its founder’s reputation.  According to Karen Conn, one of the event’s founding organizers, she and her husband, Court, have known Tjelmeland for a long time.  “I know what generous and kind things she has done with the foundation”, Conn shared, “so we pushed for CIAF as this year’s recipient.”
Founded in 2006, the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization based in Springfield, Illinois. Its mission is to provide information, resources, support, and understanding to cochlear implant recipients and their families.
The SOB Festival, to be held this year on September 7th and again in the lot of Inn at 835, is a unique event organized by local craft beer enthusiasts.  Held from noon until 5, rain or shine, the event’s primary goals are to educate the public about good quality beers, and to promote small, independent breweries.  Attendees are treated to the innovative and sometimes surprising craft beers from all over the Midwest. 
According to Conn, she was blown away by a pumpkin spice beer last year, “I don’t even like pumpkin but this beer was delicious!”  Festivalgoers can definitely expect the unexpected again this year from more than 50 vendors.  People won’t want to miss the chance to try these unique, quality brews.
 
The “O” in SOB means oysters; East Coast oysters to be exact, are a staple of the festival.  This year will include fresh New Orleans oysters, too.  Other seafood and pub fare will also be available from Conn’s Catering.
The SOB Festival donates all net proceeds each year to a different recipient charity.  With a sizable attendance jump last year, the amount SOB gifted more than tripled between its inaugural year of 2010 and 2012, according to organizer Conn.   This will mean a very generous donation to CIAF.
 

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And the winner is...
May 12, 2013 11:54 AM

Congratulations Dawne Eldridge!!

Take a look at the winning essay....

While I don't have a mother of my own to nominate, I would, as a mother, like to nominate my very dear friend, Deb Hunt as she is truly one of the most deserving people I know. Deb is truly a born caregiver who has dedicated her life to caring for anyone who crossed her path. As a wife and mother she knows no boundaries when it come to caring for and supporting her family. As a grandmother, she beams with joy when speaking of the joyful moments with her grandchildren. As a maternal child home health nurse, she has dedicated her entire work life to share in the triumph and sorrows of each family she meets. Her love is abounding. Her gift of giving is immeasurable. As she now faces many personal hurdles in her life...she never waivers. She never falters. She is truly a gift to all who are so blessed to know her. Please vote for my friend...she is truly so deserving.

 

Not only did Dawne win the fantastic District 23 basket, she's paying it forward by purchasing a $50 gift card to the runner up. Thanks, Dawne!


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Golden Ticket Winners
April 1, 2013 6:24 PM | Tagged as CIAF, District 23, Golden Ticket

 


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WEGO Health Activist Awards Finalist
March 25, 2013 12:36 PM | Tagged as CIAF, Wego Health

For a 'Best Kept Secret Finalist', I sure do have a large mouth! 


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We Have a Winner!!!
March 19, 2013 10:26 AM | Tagged as CIAF, District 23

 


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Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation outfits bicyclist with equipment for charity ride
March 8, 2013 2:11 PM | Tagged as CIAF, Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation

Rochester, Illinois – Twenty-four-year-old Jacob Landis, who is planning to cycle to all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums in five months to raise money for those impacted by hearing loss, has received $10,000 worth of upgraded cochlear implant equipment from the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF).

 
This upgraded equipment will provide Landis with additional flexibility during his ride, which he starts April 3, and will also improve his hearing and speech.
 
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides sound to a person with significant hearing loss. Cochlear implants are the only medical technology able to functionally restore one of the five senses. Many cochlear implant recipients regain more than 50% of their hearing. The equipment consists of an internal component, the implant, as well as an external component, the sound processor. Landis received his Advanced Bionics (AB) cochlear implant 13 years ago. His AB sound processor is an early model worn off the ear on his belt connected by a cable to a headpiece that communicates to the implant via a radio wave. Since then, AB has introduced behind-the-ear (BTE) processors. These processors can be worn directly on the ear, much like a traditional hearing aid.  Landis’ insurance did not cover the $8,500 cost to upgrade to this type of processor.
 
Landis contacted the Gift of Hearing Foundation (a charity that provides financial assistance to people who qualify for cochlear implant surgery) to discuss his plan for Jacob’s Ride, his cycling fundraiser with a goal of raising $1 million for those with hearing loss.  
 
Gift of Hearing Foundation Executive Director Eileen Jones explained, “When I met Jacob in January and discovered he could not afford to upgrade to the newer model, I reached out to Michelle Tjelmeland at the CIAF, who has worked with us at the Gift of Hearing Foundation on several occasions to help us find BTE processors for people. She has never let us down! She luckily had a Harmony™ BTE device that was exactly what Jacob needed and she shipped it in time for his appointment at Johns Hopkins. She not only sent the BTE, but some additional supplies, like batteries and replacement headpieces, totaling about $10,000 in value. Now not only is Jacob hearing better with his new equipment, he now has the flexibility to choose which model processor fits best in his situation along the ride.” 
 
Landis noticed an immediate difference in his hearing after his new processor was hooked up on March 5 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Landis said, “When they activated the Harmony™ BTE, I immediately thought that things were a bit better, which is extraordinary when what you’re used to is considered almost ‘normal’. It helped to strengthen my resolve to complete this ride. Such a small device can make a huge difference, and we can make this happen one hundred times over.”
 
CIAF founder Michelle Tjelmeland, who is also a cochlear implant recipient, said she considers this donation as an investment in the hearing-loss community as a whole. “Jacob embodies the spirit of CIAF and our mission to help others hear,” said Tjelmeland. “He’s about to do great things for those who experience hearing loss, and I know I will be cheering him on every step of the way.”
 
About CIAF: The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation is a 501c3 organization that connects people with the information and resources they need to make an educated decision about cochlear implant awareness surgery, and offer guidance and support to recipients. CIAF does not provide financial assistance for the surgery. For more information, visit ciafonline.org
 
Jacob’s Ride: http://www.jacobsride.com
 
Gift of Hearing Foundation: www.giftofhearingfoundation.org

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And the winner is....
March 5, 2013 12:47 PM | Tagged as District 23

 

 

For those of you who have asked, our lovely contest software randomly chose Nikki's name. Thanks to everyone who participated. Please stop by and visit us once the store opens!


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Festive socks go viral to raise money for Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation
December 17, 2012 6:10 PM | Tagged as CIAF, Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation

*This article was originally published in The State Journal-Register, written by Tamara Browning.

The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation seeks to connect people with information and resources they need to make an educated decision about cochlear implant surgery, offering guidance and support to recipients. However, the foundation doesn’t provide financial assistance for cochlear implant surgery.

Before the sock fundraiser, the foundation had $374 in its account, Tjelmeland said.

Then donations began snowballing: The foundation received a check for more than $61,000 from the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association Auxiliary, and the socks fundraiser has gained in popularity.

“(The auxiliary) raised funds for us for a year, but we just got the check. That was a great holiday surprise, and then shortly, right before that, my girlfriend came to me with this sock idea,” said Tjelmeland, whose daughter, Ellie, a freshman at Rochester High School, is deaf and is a bilateral cochlear implant user.

“It took that big push to get us going.”

Team process

Adults and teens have worked to reach a goal of 250 handmade socks. Many people were instrumental in turning things around, including Tjelmeland’s friend Laura Gehrs, her father, Max Klemm and her aunt, Ginny Klemm. Others helping include Cheryl Neff plus Brandy Lozosky’s mother-in-law, Pat Lozosky.

“All these people are showing up all over. I don’t even know most of them. They’re coming to these garages that are set up. People are donating burlap, and they’re donating the paint,” said Tjelmeland, who added that the Rochester Post Office has been a big help.

Brandy Lozosky said it takes at least three nights a week to make the socks.

“I have gals that cut out the stockings out of burlap. Then we have a day when we just paint (with acrylics). That dries. Then the next day we sew them all together. Each work night we have a step that we do,” she said.

Lozosky estimated 275 yards of burlap has been used so far. The socks are stuffed with recyclable plastic bags — from 10 to 12 bags for the small socks and about 100 bags for the large socks.

Snowball effect

Many people have hung the socks — which come in traditional with red and green paint and funky with turquoise and hot pink paint — on doors with bows or ornaments. Each sock comes with a tag that tells the foundation’s story and directs people to the website to learn more.

Since marketing on Facebook and word-of-mouth, the fundraiser has taken off. Socks have been shipped to at least a dozen states.

Tjelmeland said she believes God put everyone together for the fundraiser “to do more and better for others.”

Because this was a “last-minute” project, plans are to start the process in February for the next in a series of Christmas-related burlap socks with a new design. The goal is to have the socks finished before Christmas.

Lozosky said the goal next year is to make 500 socks. But Max Klemm is thinking bigger.
“I think we can sell 1,000 next year. I think that once we get this thing going viral and then we just start telling people ... people will want to have the next in the series,” Klemm said.

Tamara Browning can be reached at 788-1534.

 


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Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation donates equipment to MSSD student
December 14, 2012 10:39 AM | Tagged as CIAF, Gallaudet University

*The following article was posted in Gallaudet University's Clerc Center Daily on December 13, 2012

The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation recently donated a cochlear implant coil and cable to MSSD student Gabriela Cevallos to make her CI functional again. Venita Dzime-Assison, Cevallos's audiologist at the Clerc Center, arranged for the donation through CIAF's recycling program which accepts gently used implant equipment or batteries, and passes them on to recipients who could use them.

"The CIAF founder, Michelle Tjemeland, also a cochlear implant user, personally understood the importance of this part to Gabriella," said Debra Nussbuam, coordinator of the Cochlear Implant Education Center at the Clerc Center and a board member of the CIAF. "She went out of her way in her busy schedule and travel around Thanksgiving to see that Gabriella received the part she needed."

Gabriela wrote a letter of thanks to the foundation, "I am happy that I can use it [cochlear implant] again…The coil and cable are working perfectly. Thanks to the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation for the donation."

For more information on the Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation visit their website.


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Cochlear Implant School Toolkit
September 25, 2012 3:32 PM | Tagged as Cochlear Implant

The Cochlear Implant School Toolkit provides professionals and parents with information, tips, and strategies to help a child with a cochlear implant succeed in a K-2 mainstream classroom. On the CI School Toolkit website, you can find tools such as classroom lesson plans, a video explaining the five senses, deafness, and cochlear implants, and online games for children. Click here to visit the site for more details.


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What Are Your Thoughts?
September 11, 2011 6:01 PM

 1)      This article talks about how not everyone who is deaf wants to have cochlear implant surgery. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/05/deaf-people-cochlear-implants What are your thoughts after reading this article?


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Children's Book Preps for Surgery
September 7, 2011 11:08 PM

 Check out this Children’s Book  that Helps Young Ones Preparing for Cochlear Implant Surgery! It's a great article and a great book. http://www.wbir.com/news/article/180429/8/Book-would-help-children-facing-cochlear-implant-surgery


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Great story about two brothers!
September 5, 2011 11:47 PM | Tagged as Brothers, CIAF, Cochlear Implant, Swimming

 Inspiring story about two deaf brothers who are competing in the World Deaf Swimming Championships! http://www.kentucky.com/2011/07/24/1822153/lexington-brothers-make-us-team.html


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Cochlear Implants in India
September 4, 2011 6:20 PM | Tagged as CIAF, Cochlear Implant, India

 1)      Cochlear Implants bringing hearing to People of India.  http://www.electronicsnews.com.au/news/australias-bionic-ear-technology-aiding-bringing


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First Ever Meeting of its kind!
August 30, 2011 11:02 PM

 International Summer Camp for Deaf Teenagers met at St. Johns School for the Deaf for the first ever meeting of this kind. http://your-story.org/international-summer-camp-for-deaf-children-260545/


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Is Sign Language on the Brink of Extinction?
August 24, 2011 10:30 PM

 Here's an article discussing the possibility of sign language going extinct! Let us know what you think!  http://www.thetakeaway.org/2011/jul/27/american-sign-language-threatened/


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How Music May Ward Off Hearing Loss
August 23, 2011 11:43 PM

 http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/08/22/139805307/how-music-may-help-ward-off-hearing-loss?sc=emaf


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Touching Video of Implant Activation
August 18, 2011 1:06 PM

 Here’s a link to a heartwarming article that includes a video about the activation of a cochlear implant on an 8 month old baby, hearing his mother’s voice for the first time. http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/on-call/2011/07/25/emotions-run-high-when-deaf-baby-first-hears-moms-voice-thanks-to-cochlear-implants/


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Cochlear Implant Technology Continues to Grow
August 15, 2011 4:19 PM

 Despite a rough stock market, Cochlear Implant companies are still showing yearly gains. With the continued support and growing technology, this article suggests that the advancements will continue to grow and more and more people will be able to hear thanks to the Cochlear Implant!

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/companies/cochlears-sound-outlook-dampened-by-debate-over-rival/story-fn91v9q3-1226114849641

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Sealed with a Sound Program
August 10, 2011 8:50 AM | Tagged as Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation, National Rural Letter Carriers' Association

The Auxiliary of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association chose The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation as benefactor of the auxiliary’s 2011-2012 philanthropic program called “Sealed With A Sound: Delivering Solutions to the Hearing Impaired.” Through this program, CIAF will receive financial support from the auxiliary’s fundraising efforts throughout the year. In addition, the auxiliary plans to promote the benefits of cochlear implants through various marketing efforts.

Click here to read more.


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Trash to Treasure Program
August 10, 2011 8:49 AM | Tagged as CIAF, Cochlear Implant

If you have gently used cochlear implant equipment or batteries that you are no longer able to use, CIAF will gladly pass them on to Cochlear Implant recipients who can use them.

Click here to complete the form.


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Welcome!
August 10, 2011 8:48 AM | Tagged as Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF)

The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation (CIAF), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 2006 to connect people with the information and resources they need to make an educated decision about cochlear implant surgery, and offer guidance and support to people who choose to become recipients. CIAF does not provide financial assistance for cochlear implant surgery.


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Posted: June 6, 2013 11:26 AM Hands and Voices
Posted: May 22, 2013 9:05 AM SOB Festival Announces 2013 Recipient Charity
Posted: May 12, 2013 11:54 AM And the winner is...
Posted: April 1, 2013 6:24 PM Golden Ticket Winners
Posted: March 25, 2013 12:36 PM WEGO Health Activist Awards Finalist
Posted: March 19, 2013 10:26 AM We Have a Winner!!!
Posted: March 5, 2013 12:47 PM And the winner is....


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