An AG Bell Love Story

 Speaking from the Volta Bureau Autumn banner

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza summerDear Alexander Graham Bell Community,

Last month, while I was in Denver, Colorado on a site visit for this year’s convention, I had the pleasure of spending a very lovely evening with LaFawn Biddle, former AG Bell Board/Committee member. Our conversation was punctuated with her witty and fun sense of humor as we discussed AG Bell, past conventions, as well as her family.

LaFawn is well-known in the Cherry Hills community of Denver for her charitable work and outstanding volunteer services. She is a woman who has improved the lives of many through service to dozens of nonprofit organizations. She has served as chair of the Board at St. Mary’s Academy, and co-founded the Institute for Life & Care, an organization that works to empower professionals who dedicate their time to improving the lives of the community.

Over the years she has earned many accolades by associations across the country and in Cherry Hills. She has received the 2005 University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center recognition of Support for the Nursing Education program and the 2003 Sertoma Honors, among many others. To recognize her many years of service, the mayor of Cherry Hills proclaimed January 1, 2015 as “LaFawn Biddle Day.” 

LaFawn Biddle
Grandmother of the bride,
LaFawn Biddle of Denver

LaFawn needs little introduction to many AG Bell members. Her family has been closely intertwined with AG Bell for many years. At the core of LaFawn’s work has been her passion for supporting and advocating for services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. She and her late husband Dusty’s two daughters and three of their five grandchildren were born with hereditary hearing loss. Together, she and her husband went through life with a shared a sense of humor and problem-solving, and her husband often coined phrases that their friends called “Dustyisms.” 

LaFawn has been a tireless proponent of early hearing identification and intervention that benefit their family and many other families around them. LaFawn was recognized for her efforts as the 1996 AG Bell Volta Award, and the Colorado AG Bell Chapter created the “The LaFawn Biddle Award” for outstanding service in 1996. She and her husband received a service commendation in 1995 by the Denver Ear Institute.

The family’s history is deeply intertwined with AG Bell. LaFawn’s granddaughter Amy Galoob met Andrew Crawford when she was in 4th grade and Andrew in 6th grade at the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, Missouri. The two dated for a time but then Andrew left to go bak to his life in Kentucky, he told Amy, "You'll have to get another boyfriend". 

The Groom conducts the first flourish with his Bride
The Groom conducts the first flourish with his Bride.

Their lives continued on separate paths, but they stayed connected through AG Bell Conventions. Last year, Amy went to visit a friend at Rochester Institute in New York. Much to her surprise, Andrew was there! Their romance blossomed again, and they are now happily married! With the blessing of her parents, Barbara Biddle Galoob and Bruce Galoob, as well as his parents, Karla and Allen Crawford, Amy Galoob became Andrew Crawford’s bride in a storybook celebration on New Year’s Eve, 2015. 

Amy and Andrew are just one of the couples that have been brought together by AG Bell. Our Conventions are a mecca for the community of parents, professionals and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing and use listening and spoken language. The convention is a place where attendees have built lasting friendships, created longtime collegial networks — and even new love for attendees. What will you find this year in Denver? Come and find out! Registration opens this Friday, January 29!

Until next week,

 

Emilio Alonso-Mendoza
[email protected]

 



There is a destiny that makes us brothers. None goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own.
- E. Markham