DCS Gala 2017


DCS Gala: A Feast for Your Eyes

Black Tie Optional | Reception | Silent Auction |
Gourmet Dinner | Dancing

May 6, 2017
This elegant evening will take place at the premier and private Coronado Community Center in Coronado, CA. Highlights include a lavish cocktail reception, gourmet dinner by Feast on This catering.

Since 1974, visionary Deaf Community Services (DCS) patrons and community members have raised substantial funds to help the Deaf Community come together and create a brighter future. All proceeds raised at the DCS Gala will benefit Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc.

Here are some reasons why we need to raise funds –

Signs of Life, (SOL): DCS’ outpatient recovery program will celebrate its 20th year of operation in August of 2017. While we celebrate the fact that DCS is one of a handful of recovery services for DHH individuals, there is still more that needs to be done in this area. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing the principles of addiction are the same as they are for hearing people, yet these individuals are currently unable to fully access the resources available to hearing individuals. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are at a severe disadvantage when receiving and realizing long-term benefits from treatment for substance abuse, since treatment efforts are typically not focused on culturally specific information. To augment the recovery process, DCS opened a sober living home for men, Signs of Change house (SOC) in January of 2017. SOC has been very successful in its mission with only a 24% relapse rate since it opened last year. There are only three residential/in-patient treatment programs that serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the United States. Given the benefits of having a fully communication accessible facility, deaf individuals are willing to relocate from all over the country to participate in a program conducted in American Sign Language (ASL). Given the success of the SOC house, DCS’ goal is to open another sober living home for women. DCS’ gala will help provide the necessary funds to move closer toward this goal.

Deaf Community Services is also expanding its services to include deaf youth and their families. Ninety five percent of deaf youth have hearing families many of whom have never met a Deaf person. These parents are not familiar with American Sign Language or Deaf Culture so DCS is developing programs to help families learn and understand the language, as well as provide deaf youth with deaf role models. Meeting Deaf role models will show them their inner potential and inspire them to dream bigger. The new programs include:

Deaf Youth Literacy Camp: A week-long camp at Indian Hills in Jamul for 40- 50 deaf children ages 8 -14 from all over San Diego County. Deaf camp counselors and teen counselors in training provide a language and culture rich environment which will improve their self-identity, self-esteem and reinforces the fact that deaf children can grow up to be anything they desire to be.

Family ASL Classes: Free ASL classes for families with deaf children with free childcare provided as well.

Deaf Mentor Program: Families are assigned a Deaf mentor who will come to their home weekly to teach the family ASL skills as well as allow them the opportunity to ask questions and learn about Deaf culture.

Big Brother, Big Sister Program: A volunteer program to give deaf children and teens the opportunity to meet with a Deaf “BIG” brother/sister who can share experiences, goals, and opportunities.

E5: An afterschool program for deaf and hard of hearing youth providing activities to promote wellness, and a strong sense of self and community. E5 stands for Experience, Explore, Experiment, Exercise and Excel!



Saturday, May 6, 2017
5:00 PM VIP Meet & Greet (Invitation Only)
6:00 PM Doors Open



Coronado Community Center
Nautilus Banquet Room
1845 Strand Way
Coronado, CA 92118



Benjamin Lewis


Benjamin is currently at UCLA as an American Sign Language Lecturer, a position he has been in for over four years. He is fourth-generation Deaf and a native ASL signer. He received his BA in Communication Studies/Graphic Design in 2006 and MA in Sign Language Teaching in 2012 from Gallaudet University.

Additionally, Benjamin worked as an American Sign Language (ASL) instructor at Japanese ASL Signers Society in Tokyo from early 2007 to mid 2008. As a teacher, Benjamin published basic ASL books for Tokyo students as learning aids, thereby developing skills in how to create printed sign language materials. Shortly after his time in Japan, he travelled onto New Zealand, working with the Deaf agency (Deaf Aotearoa) for one and a half years as a Communications Manager. Ben also presented for TEDx at Gallaudet University in winter 2014.

On a personal level, Benjamin is an aviation enthusiast, a world traveler, and enjoys producing videos.



Carol Padden

Academic, Author, and Lecturer
Dean, Division of Social Sciences
University of California, San Diego

A longtime member of the San Diego deaf community – first as a graduate student at UCSD, then as a faculty member and, most recently, as an administrator– Carol Padden is a MacArthur “Genius” Award-winning scholar of sign languages.

Padden has been on the faculty at UCSD since 1983, when she earned her Ph.D. from the university’s department of Linguistics. Padden, who holds the Sanford I. Berman Chair in Language and Human Communication, is an affiliate member of the Center for Research in Language. She served as Associate Dean and Faculty Equity Advisor in the Division of Social Sciences from 2008 to 2013. In June 2014, she was tapped to be the Dean of Social Sciences at UCSD.

Padden’s main areas of research are language emergence, sign language structure, and cultural life in deaf communities. She plays a central role in promoting research on sign languages around the world and in shaping policy and practices that promote the full participation of deaf people in society.




Young Living Essential Oils Self-Care Basket
DoTerra Essential Oil Basket
Breckenridge House in Colorado
Cabin in Big Bear
Michael Kors Purse
Golf for 4 at Steele Canyon
Indigo Salon & Spa Beauty Basket
San Diego Fun Basket
Home Brewers Delight Basket
Artwork by Jon Savage

Special Thanks to the 2017 DCS Gala Committee

DCS Gala Chair
Mala Poe

Committee Members
Nathan Brown
Jameson Crane
Matt Ellis
Doug Sampson
Katie Wilson

Special Thanks Our Event Sponsors





Special Thanks Our Event Donors


Carl Vonderau
Mala Poe & Sharon Martin
Rachel Mayberry
Sandra Gish (in Memoriam)



Alan & Dujuana Poe
A Well Lived Life
Barbara Chanson
Brad & Kate Poe
Brian & Christina Paradis
David & Cynthia Studer
David & MA Poe
Evelyn Silverman
Jane Petering
Joey Payton
Lori Kendrick
Marc McMorrow
Martin & Sharron Gold
Ray & Tannya Poe
Tom Humphries & Carol Padden
Tracy Bolton
Ursula Bellugi-Klima



Please contact us at: