Sign-language Santa visits deaf children in Aurora

  • Jayceon Tolson, 5, of Aurora receives a gift from sign-language Santa Dan Basalone of Lisle at Aurora Noon Lions Club's annual yule party Thursday, Dec. 12, for area deaf and hearing-impaired students.

    Jayceon Tolson, 5, of Aurora receives a gift from sign-language Santa Dan Basalone of Lisle at Aurora Noon Lions Club's annual yule party Thursday, Dec. 12, for area deaf and hearing-impaired students. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Aurora Noon Lion Dick Schindel shows an appreciation plaque presented by Angel Zepeda of Aurora (background) for yule parties for deaf and hearing-impaired students. Schindel coordinated Aurora Noon Lions' annual holiday party Thursday, Dec. 12, at Luigi's Pizza in Aurora.

    Aurora Noon Lion Dick Schindel shows an appreciation plaque presented by Angel Zepeda of Aurora (background) for yule parties for deaf and hearing-impaired students. Schindel coordinated Aurora Noon Lions' annual holiday party Thursday, Dec. 12, at Luigi's Pizza in Aurora. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Educators assisted at an Aurora Noon Lions Club yule party for deaf and hearing-impaired students Thursday, Dec. 12. From left are Jen Lage, audiologist; Jeanne McDonald, elementary hearing itinerant, Allen School; Carrie Snyder, high school hearing itinerant, East Aurora High; Debi McConnell, middle school hearing itinerant, Cowherd Middle School; Katelyn Mandel, interpreter; and Cary Nagel, interpreter.

    Educators assisted at an Aurora Noon Lions Club yule party for deaf and hearing-impaired students Thursday, Dec. 12. From left are Jen Lage, audiologist; Jeanne McDonald, elementary hearing itinerant, Allen School; Carrie Snyder, high school hearing itinerant, East Aurora High; Debi McConnell, middle school hearing itinerant, Cowherd Middle School; Katelyn Mandel, interpreter; and Cary Nagel, interpreter. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Sign-language Santa Dan Basalone of Lisle "talks" holiday wishes with a student at Aurora Noon Lions Club's annual yule party Thursday, Dec. 12, for area deaf and hearing-impaired students.

    Sign-language Santa Dan Basalone of Lisle "talks" holiday wishes with a student at Aurora Noon Lions Club's annual yule party Thursday, Dec. 12, for area deaf and hearing-impaired students. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
Submitted by Aurora Noon Lions Club
Posted12/19/2019 10:42 AM

A sign-language Santa helped bring Christmas spirit to Aurora deaf and hard-of-hearing students on Thursday, Dec. 12.

About 85 students and caregivers were guests at Aurora Noon Lions Club's annual yule party for hearing-impaired students and caregivers at Luigi's Pizza in Aurora.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The party opened with a pizza and pasta dinner. Then, Don Basalone of Lisle, costumed as Santa, used American Sign Language to "talk" Christmas wishes with pupils from East and West Aurora school districts.

Each student received a mini gift bucket containing a stuffed bear toy, candy canes and other treats.

Aurora Noon Lion Dick Schindel of Aurora, party coordinator, was surprised with an appreciation plaque from Angel Zepeda of Aurora. The East Aurora High senior has attended Noon Lions' hearing-impaired yule parties since age 2, said his mother, Maria.

A school audiologist and five interpreters assisted at the party. They were Jen Lage, audiologist; Jeanne McDonald, elementary hearing itinerant, Allen School; Carrie Snyder, high school hearing itinerant, East Aurora High; Debi McConnell, middle school hearing itinerant, Cowherd Middle School; Cary Nagel, interpreter; and Katelyn Mandel, interpreter.

The party was sponsored by the Aurora Noon Lions, in partnership with the Sycamore-based Northwestern Illinois Association, a regional special-education cooperative.

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