Relatives of the late cosmetic heiress Lillian Sefton Thomas Dodge—the former owner of what is now known as our beloved Mill Neck Manor—visited the campus to tour and reminisce about the majestic Tudor revival mansion.
Terry Meade, Lillian’s great-great nephew, along with a few family members, walked every inch of the 34-room estate, offering in-depth family history and a personal recount of stories. They were awestruck by the beautiful condition of the mansion, and even more so when they viewed the “Lillian Room”—an entire room dedicated to Lillian, filled with artifacts from her many professional and personal achievements. One family member contributed to the room by donating a perfume bottle that can be traced back to Lillian’s cosmetic company, the aerating scent still distinctly intact.
Lillian, who paved her way in the cosmetic industry as President of Harriet Hubbard Ayer, soon became the highest paid female executive in America during the 1930s. In 1947, 68-year old Lillian sold Harriet Hubbard Ayer to the Lever Brothers for $5,500,000, a low price in the eyes of analysts. Soon after, she also sold the estate to Lutheran Friends of the Deaf, the founding member of the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, using the mansion as an educational school for Deaf children.
During the visit, Terry sifted through dozens of old photographs and one-of-a-kind valuables (that he then donated to the Mill Neck Archive Committee) and read aloud a letter that was penned by Lillian herself, completely captivating all who were in attendance. As Terry pleasantly played the 25-year-old piano in the great room toward the end of the visit, the presence of Lillian Sefton Dodge was definitely felt.
Since the visit, Terry and his partner Roy have donated countless antiques and collectibles to Mill Neck.
When 95-year-old Gloria and 98-year-old Frank Massimo—longtime donors and faithful supporters of Mill Neck—walked into the Mill Neck offices, a palpable presence of history, knowledge and love surrounded them. After 72 years of marriage, they remained perfectly in sync, practically finishing each other’s sentences. They went back in time, reminiscing about the old days growing up, without missing a beat: radio shows, street ball games, party-line phones, the prices of gas and even Frank’s role commanding minesweepers in World War II.
Frank explained how he sat back and patiently watched as his future wife would unknowingly walk in and out of his life for years.
“My friend and I would sit on the front stoop in the Bronx and Gloria would walk by with her sister; I used to watch her change buses,” he explained. “It was love at first sight.”
Gloria, who has been a dedicated Apple Fest-goer for 25 years, felt an association with Mill Neck after she spent a great deal of her life with only 33 percent of her hearing. “I started to lose my hearing after I had my first child around 60 years ago,” she said. “The doctor said ‘no more children,’ but I went ahead and had another one and lost even more of my hearing.”
Gloria then went into the nearest drug store and bought a hearing aid that was as big as a pack of cigarettes, which she hung around her neck. “My children used to come right up to it and speak into it if they wanted to talk to me.”
Now, hearing aid technology has come a long way. The Massimos were immediately introduced to Doctor of Audiology, Susan Antonellis, at the Center for Hearing Health, so that they could receive the latest and greatest in hearing health care.
In addition to being dedicated donors and Apple Fest participants, The Massimos have purchased a dozen bricks from the Mill Neck Tribute program. We would like to sincerely thank Frank and Gloria, and all of our Mill Neck supporters.
Werner Reich, a Holocaust survivor, visited the Deaf Education Center to speak to students about the history of theHolocaust, the meaning behind the Nazi destruction and the challenges he faced throughout the Holocaust.
Werner’s presentation was eye opening for the students, as he taught them about hate crimes and judgments, and gave them a better understanding of the Holocaust.
“We don’t want tolerance, we want acceptance,” Reich said. “Regardless of race, color, age or sex.”
He explained to the students the definition of the Holocaust, which is Greek for “a whole burnt offering,” and described the Nazi’s destruction of selected groups and their culture.
Reich left the students with one final thought. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.”
Mill Neck International (MNI)—an organization whose mission is to envision a world where Deaf people are included, empowered, celebrated and embraced as equals—launched a brand new website.
The website, which features bold, vibrant colors and photos, allows for a more Deaf-friendly experience with the use of signed videos and iconography. MNI also announces their first-ever funding cycle to provide project funding every year in a variety of areas for Deaf people: education, communication, gender equality and more.
Check out their website for more information: millneckinternational.org.
The Center for Hearing Health is excited to announce an entirely brand new website that will be launched in the coming months.
The site, which will be exclusive to the center, will feature informative information on services, blogs and videos on the latest advancements in audiology; a schedule of upcoming events and van visits; an online shop; a live stream for social media and more.
Be on the lookout for news regarding the launch!
Mill Neck’s Center for Hearing Health (CHH) sponsored Long Island Speech and Hearing Association’s (LISHA) fall conference held at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, N.Y.
The event allowed a mix of professional speech language pathologists and audiologists from the Long Island area to
participate in important discussions related to their field. Also during the event, CHH’s Director of Audiology, Dr. Susan Antonellis, introduced the keynote speaker, Pietro LoDuca, who previously attended Mill Neck and received hearing aid care from CHH.
LoDuca gave a remarkable presentation about perseverance, determination, willingness and passion as he spoke candidly about his journey of obstacles and struggles. He also demonstrated firsthand the important role speech-language pathologists and audiologists play in a Deaf individual’s life.
The Center for Hearing Health’s Mobile Audiology Van made a stop at Trinity Lutheran Church in Glen Cove, N.Y. While there, CHH’s Doctors of Audiology performed free hearing screenings for children and adults in the community.
The CHH mobile unit is 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 also handicapped accessible, air conditioned and equipped with lavatory facilities. Some hearing aid checks and consults can also be performed.
The mission of the mobile van is to bring hearing care to individuals at centers, companies and organizations who are unable to access it across Long Island.
See where our van is going to next! Find us on the GoClinic app. For more information on the Center for Hearing Health’s Mobile Audiology Van, call 516-628-4300.
Lutheran Friends of the Deaf has been approved to participate in the Thrivent Choice® program, which engages Thrivent Members and Thrivent Member Networks in providing grants that support charitable activities, furthering Thrivent’s mission.
Through the Thrivent Choice program, members can participate in Thrivent Choice Dollars—a distribution program for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ charitable outreach funds.
Eligible members can now support Lutheran Friends of the Deaf by giving (directing) their Thrivent Choice dollars to LFD. Thrivent converts the Choice Dollars to cash and sends it to LFD as a gift.
Because of such dedicated support, LFD can continue their commitment to serving children and adults who are Deaf hear the Word of God locally and worldwide.
Mill Neck Services’ participants were thrilled to visit New York City, where they traveled by a luxury bus to sightsee in Times Square and enjoy the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center.
When they arrived, participants were delighted to witness the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, with interpreting from Hands On—a group that provides accessibility to arts & cultural events for the Deaf and hard of hearing communities.
Mill Neck Services’ DayHab Central Program participants got together with Rock Can Roll agency—a nonprofit whose mission is to collaborate with rock concerts, schools, corporations and private individuals to collect healthy non-perishable food for those in need—to deliver food to Our Lady of Fatima Church in Port Washington, N.Y.
MNS participants, who are always lending a helping hand to their community, picked up food from Willets School in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., which was then given to the less fortunate for the holidays.