The latest news from the 
Mill Neck Family of Organizations
Founded in 1947 by Lutheran Friends of the Deaf

Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf Students Volunteer at Annual Golf Event

Center for Hearing Health Announces New Audiology Van
Lutheran Friends of the Deaf Presents at Asia Deaf Christian Mission Conference
Mill Neck International Presents at Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf

Mill Neck Services Visits Oyster Bay Enrichment Center

Mill Neck Foundation News and Events

A Tribute to the Late Rev. Dr. William G. Thompson

Deaf Education Students Volunteer at Mill Neck Cup Golf & Luxury Spa 

Crystal clear skies and a summer breeze set the tone for the 2017 Mill Neck Cup & Luxury Spa event. A day that beautiful could only be trumped by the picturesque backdrop of the renowned Pine Hollow Country Club in East Norwich. The annual event supports the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, whose mission is to help Deaf children and adults with other disabilities through educational, vocational and spiritual services locally and worldwide. 

This year, Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf students offered a much-appreciated helping hand, as they assisted staff and volunteers during registration and also taught players American sign language using different golf signs on the course. A huge thank you to all the students and staff who generously volunteered their time!

Mill Neck's Center for Hearing Health Announces New Audiology Van

The Center for Hearing Health is proud to announce the launch of a new mobile van, which will be unveiled in September. The mobile unit will be fully equipped with a large sound proof booth and one smaller booth to perform full audiological evaluations and hearing screenings for children and adults. The van is handicapped accessible, air conditioned and equipped with lavatory facilities. Some hearing aid checks and consults can also be performed.

The mission of this audiological van is to bring hearing care to those who are unable to access it. The mobile van plans to service as many people as possible in Nassau and Suffolk County and then extend the geographical range on a need basis.

For more information on the mobile van services, please call the Center for Hearing Health at 516-628-4300.

LFD Extends Call to Deaconess Intern to Serve as Commissioned Deaconess 

Lutheran Friends of the Deaf extended a call to Deaconess Heidi Sias, who is LFD's former deaconess-intern. The Diploma of Vocation calls Sias to officially serve as a commissioned deaconess for Lutheran Friends of the Deaf of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations in Mill Neck, N.Y., where she will continue to work on the liturgy translation, in teaching church interpreting, as a representative for the organization, and in other ways as needed. After prayerful consideration, Deaconess Sias recently announced that she has joyfully accepted this called position to serve LFD as a remote worker from Missouri. The scheduling of the commissioning and installation is in process. We pray that our Lord would bless our work together as we strive to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are Deaf.

Congratulations, Deaconess Sias! 

LFD Presents at the Asia Deaf Christian Mission Conference 

(From L to R) Pastor Siu and his wife from the Hong Kong Deaf Christian Church, and Rev. Thomas Dunseth

On behalf of Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, Rev. Thomas Dunseth, the Director of Deaf Ministry Educational and International Programs, was invited to give a presentation about Mill Neck's history of Deaf mission work in Asia at the 14th Asia Deaf Christian Mission Conference. 

Held in Hong Kong and attended by about 400 Deaf Christians and 23 Deaf pastors and church workers from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China, Rev. Dunseth was honored to be one of only three hearing people to join the conference. In his presentation, Rev. Dunseth addressed the Lord's blessing of five decades of Lutheran Friends of the Deaf's support of the Lutheran Deaf mission in Asia. 

MNI Presents at the Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf

Reverend Margaret Mukami Lawi, a Deaf Methodist pastor from Kenya, wholeheartedly expressed gratitude for the Americans who traveled overseas to help her church, but when it came to how they worked, she was stymied. "Not much development work happens because we aren't a part of the process of planning. We don't know what materials they are bringing and they don't ask us what we need."  Rev. Lawi sat on a listening panel of Deaf and hearing church workers at the Fourth Global Methodist Missions Conference of the Deaf held in Waxachachie, Tex., on August 1-4, 2017. Panelists from the U.S., Ghana, Brazil, South Korea, Kenya and Sri Lanka responded to questions posed by the moderator, Sarah Houge, Mill Neck International's Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist.

The day prior, Houge and  Dr. Amy Wilson, the Director of Mill Neck International, presented to the mixed group of 150 Deaf and hearing people doing ministry in the U.S. and abroad. They shared best practices of working together for development and how missionaries and volunteers can empower the millions of Deaf people living in poverty. Houge asked the panel participants probing questions related to this theme and how help coming from churches had affected the lives of those Deaf people who had received it. 

"Before we traveled to Kenya, we knew we wanted to offer support but we weren't quite sure how to do it," shared Rev. Kirk VanGilder, a professor from Gallaudet University who has made several mission trips to Africa. "Before mission trips, the Americans would make all the plans about what was going to happen when they arrived in the country. Now I understand we need to flip that dynamic. The Deaf Kenyans know much better what they want. Our role in planning should lessen as the Kenyans take more control of projects." Rev. Lawi beamed and enthusiastically shook her head as she saw VanGilder's comments interpreted from American Sign Language into her native Kenyan Sign Language.

Mill Neck International envisions a world in which Deaf people are included, empowered, celebrated and embraced as equals; they encourage churches and faith-based groups to reconsider how they "help" their constituents. Dr. Wilson said, "Sarah and I are thrilled when we see faith-based organizations first as Deaf groups overseas what kind of assistance they want and then discern what assets already exist in the community. Then they collaborate to create a project the community needs and often it is supporting Deaf people overseas running projects independently." Houge added, "If mission groups go over and do work for Deaf people rather than sharing knowledge and training, for example, Deaf people will continue to be dependent on others. Churches really don't want to be hurting people more than helping them." 

MNS' Day Habilitation Program Visits Oyster Bay Enrichment Center

Mill Neck Services' Day Habilitation program in Hicksville, N.Y., which offers socialization and group activities to Deaf and Developmentally Disabled adults, travels to  the Oyster Bay Enrichment Center every Monday to teach American Sign Language to a group of dedicated senior citizens. Both the seniors and the individuals enjoy the weekly interaction. They sign, gesture and speak to each other to convey their ideas and may ask the Day Hab staff for assistance.The individuals and staff plan lessons together, introduce new vocabulary each week, and review old vocabulary. Everyone looks forward to getting together and having fun conversations.

Mill Neck's "Sail the Sound for Deafness" Regatta & Cocktail Party Made Waves

Sailors and supporters alike were all aboard for Mill Neck Family's 6th annual "Sail the Sound for Deafness" Regatta and Cocktail Party on Aug. 10, 2017, to benefit children and adults who are Deaf and have other disabilities.

Spectators enjoyed an exciting race around Oyster Bay into the Long Island Sound with fleets made available from Oakcliff Sailing Center and The WaterFront Center's showpiece Christeen, the oldest oyster sloop in North America. Sailors also took to the waters of Oyster Bay Harbor aboard their own boats.  
Around 200 guests arrived after the race to the historic Mill Neck Manor to enjoy great food and drinks from top restaurants in the area, raffles, silent auction items and live music performed by That Motown Band. The Tudor Revival mansion, with its terrace overlooking Long Island Sound, was the perfect backdrop for the cocktail party and for catching a magnificent sunset.

One of the evening's highlights is always the announcement of the regatta and restaurant winners: first place in the sailing race went to Blue Sky owned by Bob Young and top restaurant, which was judged by Al Staab of GENERAL went to the North Oyster Bay Baymen.

"This year's event was one to remember," said Director of Events, Samantha Lordi. "The community really came together to support a wonderful cause. We are so thankful to everyone who helped make this event a success."

A New Group on the Rise: Friends of Mill Neck 

Mill Neck is pleased to announce the launch of a brand-new group, Friends of Mill Neck. This group, in particular, aims to  act as a resource for anyone who has ever been associated with any Mill Neck Organization, to help coordinate discussions, solutions, social gatherings and events, up-to-date Mill Neck news and more!

Friends of Mill Neck is run by two Deaf employees of Mill Neck, and former students of Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf: Janice  Buonincontri and Vincent Romanelli. 

Vincent, who was born Deaf after his mother contracted Rubella during her pregnancy, now works in Mill Neck's Billing Department and for Mill Neck Services. "We want to be role models for the Deaf community and show them that there is hope after they graduate school; they can still have a successful life."

Janice was diagnosed Deaf after a high fever due to a severe case of Chicken Pox at 6 months old. Janice now works in Mill Neck Services in the community habilitation program and the Starry Night CafĂ©, which provides a place for socialization for Deaf adults. 

"I learned oral communication first because I had hearing parents, which was really tough on me growing up. I never had the access to the Deaf culture that Deaf children have now so it's really great to see that," she said.

Friends of Mill Neck will have a special booth at this year's Apple Festival, signing up interested participants and selling T-shirts and goodies. 

In the meantime, check them out on Facebook

A Tribute to Rev. Dr. William G. Thompson 

Rev. Dr. William G. Thompson, a former Mill Neck trustee, passed away after a lengthy illness on July 14 in Georgetown, Texas. He was 72 years old. 

Rev. Thompson was instrumental in expanding the work of Mill Neck internationally, most notably Brazil. He became a trustee in 1981. After leaving the board in 2002, he became the Executive Director of the Brazil Mission Society. 

Rev. Thompson was the former Senior Pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas, one of the largest congregations in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. He was called there in 1994, succeeding Rev. Guido Merkens, who founded the church and led it for four decades. 

Additionally, Rev. Thompson served congregations in Connecticut, Michigan and Illinois. 

Rev. Thompson is survived by his wife Patricia, and their two children Michelle and John, and one grandchild, Kiera. A memorial service was held on Aug. 5 to celebrate his life. 
Mill Neck Family Board Members
Mill Neck Foundation (MNF) 
Mill Neck Manor School  for the Deaf (MNM) 
Lutheran Friends of the Deaf (LFD) 
Mill Neck Services (MNS)

Michael F. Killian  President and CEO

Mr. Rudolph H. Auslander  Chairman

Rev. Dr. David H. Benke  MNF MNM LFD MNS

Dr. Richard W. Bimler MNFLFD

Mr. Howard Crumb  MNF MNM LFD MNS

Mr. Joseph DiBartolo  MNM 

Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich MNFLFD

Dr. Stephen J. Hernandez, Ed.D.  MNM

Rev. Beth Lockard  MNM MNS

Mr. Kurt H. Lundquist   MNM MNS

Mrs. Linda Milch  MNM

Mrs. Leslie Schnake  MNF LFD

Rev. Timothy R. Yeadon  MNF MNM LFD MNS

Mrs. Leslie Schnake  MNF LFD

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