Before boarding limos to Westbury Manor, students who are deaf and blind will show off their glamorous tuxes, gowns and corsages at a cocktail party to kick off Helen's Ball, which took place on Wednesday, July 16, at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults, 141 Middle Neck Road. in Sands Point. (Helen's Ball followed immediately after at Westbury Manor, 1100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury.)
Forty students, ranging in age from 17 to 50, each accompanied by an interpreter, will spend the evening dining and dancing. A variety of students, none of whom have ever attended a prom or event such as this, are available for interview, including grandmother Virginia Nothdurft; Maxy Drummondo and David Gentry (both in their 20s) and teenagers Tai Faust (Dale City, VA); Quinn Birch (Schenectady, NY); and Jade Warman (Snellville, GA).
Friends, family, HKNC staff and local businesses all played fairy godmother for the event. Staff and friends donated the gowns, which were dry cleaned by Country Cleaners in Port Washington; tuxes were supplied by Black Tie Tuxedos and Rogers Tuxedos of Smithtown; flowers, boutonnières and corsages were donated by 1-800-FLOWERS; limos are courtesy of 3Js Limos, Alexis Limos, and Phipps Limos.
Since its creation in 1967 by an act of Congress, The Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (www.hknc.org) has been a driving force in helping people who are deaf-blind throughout the United States lead independent lives, and work in the community of their choice. It offers an array of national programs for individuals who are deaf-blind, their families and the local agencies that serve them. Its Sands Point, NY headquarters offers services that include comprehensive evaluation, rehabilitation, and vocational training.