HISTORY OF BCAD

From 1944 to 1971, Miami was the focal point for activities for the deaf in Southeastern Florida.  Because of the growing population in the late sixties, it was time for each county to have its own center for the deaf.

Beginning in March 1972, organizational meetings chaired by Elmer Rosemund were held in the conference room at the DVR office in Ft. Lauderdale.  As the result of those meetings, BCAD was founded on April 13, 1972 with Donald Spalton elected as the first president.  Founding members include Glenna Ashton, Sal & Nancy May, Robert McClintock, Celia NcNeilly, Elvira & Elmer Rosemund, Dominick & Sally Sosna, Donald & Patrick Spalton, and William Wheeler.

The objectives for BCAD were established as recreational activities, charitable services, assistance in educational and employment matters, public relations, communication and cooperative action for other organizations for the deaf.  These objectives were formally stated in the Constitution which was approved by the membership in 1973.  Membership dues was $5.00 per year.  Admission to social was $1.00 for members, $1.50 for non-members.

BCAD established an affiliation with Florida Association of the Deaf (FAD) in March 1973 and hosted the annual FAD Labor Day picnic the same year.  The State of Florida granted BCAD a charter as a non-profit corporation on November 19, 1973.

An emblem was designed in 1973 for BCAD's letterhead..  The green and white emblem was also used by BCAAD the same year on the back of bowling shirts for BCAD bowlers.

The IRS ruled that activities at BCAD were exempt from Federal Income Tax in June 1976 conferring BCAD the status of a 501.c.7 organization.

An interesting subsection of the By-Laws prepared by Joseph Mortillaro provided for the anniversary banquet to be held every five years.  Teh first banquet to celebrate the 5th Anniversary was held on March 12, 1977 at the Sunrise Inn in Ft. Lauderdale.  William Wheeler was the Chairperson.

The 10th Anniversary banquet occurred on May 8th, 1982 at the Holiday Inn in Plantation.  Daniel Corella was the Chairperson.  William Wheeler was the Master of Ceremonies.  The guest speaker was Mayor John Lomelo.

The 15th Anniversary banquet was held on March 7, 1987 at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Hollywood.  Frances Manson and Millie Wheeler were co-chairpersons.

In August 1985, the members purchased a building on Sample Road in Pompano Beach which became a permanent home for BCAD.  A 7-year balloon loan for $93,000 was arranged for the purchase.    The members had amassed a total of $53,000 by July 1989 through fundraising efforts.  The remaining balance was donated by Carl Fragin.  BCAD celebrated with a "Burn the Balloon" luncheon on November 12, 1989 at the Holiday Inn in Ft. Lauderdale..  The social room in BCAD clubhouse was then dedicated as the "Carl Fragin Room" in appreciation.

The 20th Anniversary banquet occurred on March 29, 1992 at Pier Sixty-Six in Ft. Lauderdale.  Alex Fleischman was the Chairperson and Master of Ceremonies.  Dr. Thomas Mayes provided the entertainment.

The 25th Anniversary program took place on September 2-4, 1997 at the Registry Resort Hotel in Naples.  Norman Finkelstein was the Chairperson for the 3-day event which included card tournaments, shopping, swimming and banquet.

The 30th Anniversary banquet occured on March 17, 2002 at the Hilton Hotel in Deerfield Beach.  Margie Gompers was the Chairperson.  Taras Denis was the Master of Ceremonies.  Rosemary Nikolaus provided the entertainment.

In 2006,  the IRS conferred BCADHH the status of a 501.c.3 organization.  BCADHH was created by the members as the fundraising arm of BCAD.

On Sunday, March 18, 2007, the 35th Anniversary banquet was held at Benvenuto Restaurant in Boynton Beach.  Margie Gompers was the Chairperson.  Betty Oshman was the Mistress of Ceremonies.  Keith Muller was the guest speaker.  Bebe Kramer and Elaine Aiello provided the entertainment.

PAST PRESIDENTS

1972                Donald Spalton*
1973               William Wheeler
1974                Harley Walters
1975                Pearl Wheeler*
1976                Dan Corella*
1977-79          Mildred Wheeler
1980                Robert Halligan
1981                Frances Manson
1982                Earle West*
1983                Wolfe Bragg*
1984-86          Frances Manson
1986                Irene Hazel*
1987                William Wheeler
1988                Julius Fershleiser*
1989-91          Mildred Wheeler
1992-93          Norman Finkelstein
1994                James Thomas
1995                Norman Finkelstein
1996-2003       Mildred Wheeler
2004-present   Leslie Solomon

* = deceased