Be Your Best You Thank You!

From the Brazos River Regional Day School Prog. for the Deaf

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Weatherford Optimist Club-Communication Contest for the Deaf/HH

Thanks to the Weatherford Optimist Club for sponsoring the Brazos River RDSPD involvement in the Optimist Communication Contest for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. If Robert Beckett and Debbie Braudaway had not approached us, this event would not have happened. We are thrilled to be sending two contestants, Olivia Brooks and Tammy Wilson on to the District Level Contest in Plano this April to compete for a $2,500 scholarship.

Inspirational Speech by Emma Rudkin, Founder of Aid the Silent

The Brazos River RDSPD sincerely appreciates the inspirational words shared by Miss Emma Rudkin. She spoke of her experiences growing up as a person with hearing loss. She shared her struggles, her anger, her frustrations, and her eventual realization that her deafness is what makes her unique, opening up a world of possibilities for her.


Three Judges and a Time Keeper with Impressive Credentials

Special thanks to Anne Darr, Educational Consultant-Region XI, Sammie Sheppard, Program Coordinator of the Tarrant County College Sign Language Interpreter Program, and Susie Tiggs, State Lead for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services. Our official time keeper was Optimist Eddie Burnett. Thank you all for your time and commitment to this worthy cause.

Catering of Fine Mexican Cuisine by Oaxaca Restaurant in Weatherford

The food was delicious and set the mood for the day. We want to thank Angel Martinez, Manager of Oaxaca (pronounced "wa ha ka") for the support in catering the Be Your Best You event. Please don't take our word for it, go try out their food for yourself at 216 I-20, Weatherford, TX 76086. Let them know that the Brazos River RDSPD appreciates their support.

Wiseman House Chocolates, Hico, TX

If you haven't stopped at Wiseman House Chocolates while in or traveling through Hico, TX, you have missed out. This famous chocolate can be found at 406 West Grubbs St., Hico, TX 76457 or visit their website at Please let them know while you are there how much the Brazos River RDSPD appreciates their support.

Support from Weatherford ISD

Special thanks goes to Patti Young, Executive Director of Special Programs, Kristi Dowd, Principal of Weatherford High School, Todd Jones, Assistant Principal of Weatherford High School, Dr. Kara Hardin, Librarian of Weatherford HIgh School, Alma Nichols, Administrative Assistant of Weatherford High School. Also, thanks to John Tarrant for the wonderful pictures.

Walmart- South Main Location and Granbury Location

Thanks to the generosity of Walmart in making this event such a success. Both the South Main Walmart in Weatherford and the Granbury Walmart were quick to support the Be Your Best You event. When they heard about the program and the great kids that are supported here, both Walmarts quickly agreed to fund our cause.

Interpreters for the Event

The Be Your Best You event would not have happened without the expertise of our very skilled, talented, and professional sign language interpreters. Thank you very much to the Brazos River personnel: Rachel Langston, Melissa Mello, and Sarah Ybarra.

Randy Wilkey Jones, former teacher of the Brazos River RDSPD-Special Recognition

Randy Wilkey Jones drove from Tyler, Texas where she now teaches Deaf Ed in order to be a special guest of this event. One of the contestants highlighted "Miss Wilkey" in her speech, because she inspired this student while attending her class. She saw "Miss Wilkey" give her best which inspired this student to achieve and give her best. The student was not told that "Miss Wilkey" was coming and it was a wonderful surprise for all!

Janet Law, Kristal Bullock, Kristie Henry and the amazing staff and students of the Brazos River RDSPD

It was Janet Law who started the idea of making the Optimist Communication Contest for the Deaf into an even bigger event by inviting Emma Rudkin to be our guest speaker. Thanks to her idea and dilligent hard work, this entire event came together. Kristal Bullock keeps us organized and focused. Kristie Henry arranged for the catering from Oaxaca. Our Brazos River teachers spent hours helping their students prepare their speeches. The BRRDSPD Itinerant teachers worked with multiple school districts to organize transportation and permission for their students to attend and participate. The entire event was funded from a community garage sale. Please be watching for our next garage sale in Weatherford on Saturday, April 30th. (Donations accepted on Saturday, April 23rd.)