TWENTIETH ANNIVERSARY MESSAGE
By Linda Binns
It was 1992; long ago, and far away, deep inside an AOL chatroom, (before AOL was actually part of the ‘internet’, inside a category called ‘disAbilities’), a few friends discussed their shared experiences, about their common hearing loss. As they supported one another, and commiserated, shared ideas, tips and coping skills, an idea glimmered in the background – and as their meetings and discussions (and participants) grew, the idea began to bear fruit. What if there was a club? A group, connected by email, on the internet, more than a chatroom, where people could subscribe, find socialization, like-minded friends with hearing loss, share technology, news about hearing loss, and even include the people who love them? What if. . .? It was big project, but these few soldiered on, determined to make their dream a reality.
They looked around, reviewed state laws and policies, and determined that the state of Washington was most friendly to the type of organization they wanted to create. A lawyer was obtained, and they filed appropriate documentation. In December of 1997, the SayWhatClub was born!
The SayWhatClub continues to grow and prosper. We trademarked our name in February of 2008. There are now approximately 370 people on the several email lists. Our social media groups, Facebook Friends with Hearing loss, and Gen-Y, add another 848 subscribers. And there are 1,945 people ‘following’ the SayWhatClub on our public Facebook page.
Our volunteers, past and present, work tirelessly to keep it happening, keep it relevant, keep it interesting on all our various ways of connecting. Our past BOD (Board of Directors) and members have given so much of themselves, and we’re thankful for their dedication and commitment. Each and every committee chair and volunteer continues to solidify and maintain the presence and strength of the SayWhatClub.
Special thanks to our own Alan Sprague, who provided info to me to fill in the blank spots from those early years, along with ‘Bob Deafie’, and several other SayWhatClub pioneers. Alan remains with us today, helping to keep our lists active and vibrant.
We’ve come a long way, and we’re not tired yet! Thanks for being here! Enjoy the ride!
SayWhatClub BOD (Board of Directors)
December 20th, 2017