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April 11, 2005   Email to Friend 

Alfa Makes $250,000 Donation To Helen Keller School
Jeff Helms

Alfa President Jerry Newby visits with Helen Keller School students Janai Powell and Lisa Evans--who was fascinated with the Alfa president's colorful necktie--following Alfa's presentation of a donation to the school
The Alfa Insurance and Alabama Farmers Federation Board of Directors unanimously approved a contribution of $250,000, to be paid over five years, to the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB). This gift, from the Alfa Foundation, will be applied towards the construction of a new dormitory on the campus of the Helen Keller School of Alabama (HKS).

"The new single-level facility will replace the two-story Rogers Hall as a dormitory for young women with sensory and multiple disabilities," AIDB President Dr. Terry Graham stated. "A number of safety concerns existed in Rogers Hall. Built in 1947, it only had minor renovations during the past 57 years. With no elevator, no sprinkler system, and an antiquated fire escape serving the second floor, it was clearly too risky to have young women with multiple disabilities and the staff serving them living in the building. We are excited that Alfa is again partnering with AIDB, and we truly appreciate its support of our initiatives.

"As president for the last two years and as an Institute employee for 27 years, I have personally felt the impact of Alfa's generosity over the years. Ten years ago, Alfa's contribution to the renovation of Manning Hall allowed us to return that historic building to the pristine condition it demands as AIDB's oldest building. This current gift toward a new HKS dormitory reflects Alfa's commitment to the deaf, blind and multidisabled children we serve," Graham concluded.

"The Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance are proud to support AIDB in its work to help young men and women develop their God-given abilities and reach their full potential," said Alfa President Jerry Newby. "For almost 150 years, this outstanding institute has served the residents of Alabama as well as those from other states. Without AIDB, many blind and deaf individuals--particularly those in rural areas--would not have access to specialized educational programs, facilities and materials."

The $1.1 million HKS project began in December 2003 with a $250,000 gift from The Daniel Foundation, and garnered many other generous gifts from Alabama's corporate, non-profit and individual communities. Construction bids were opened last year with groundbreaking scheduled to begin in April.

AIDB, founded in 1858, provides comprehensive education and service programs of superior quality for children and adults who are deaf, blind and multidisabled. Through the Alabama School for the Deaf, Alabama School for the Blind, Helen Keller School of Alabama, E.H. Gentry Technical Facility, and the Alabama Industries for the Blind, AIDB provides educational and rehabilitation services throughout a person's life.

AIDB also operates regional centers in Auburn, Birmingham, Dothan, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Talladega, Tuscaloosa and Tuscumbia. Each year, AIDB serves over 10,000 children and adults from throughout Alabama.

For more information about AIDB, call (256) 761-3206 or visit www.aidb.org.

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