May / June 2019 | Volume 37 Issue 3
Development Update
By Beth McKenzie, Development Director
We are thrilled to announce that our 2018-2019 Help Expand Audio Reader (HEAR) campaign raised $125,000 this year! That is by far our best campaign to date.

In addition to the HEAR campaign, we are working on a variety of fundraising efforts to raise more money due to the budget cuts, including: increasing our major gift development, soliciting new business underwriting , increasing our Sustaining Donor program, writing new grants , and reaching out to donors and foundations in more of the communities we serve. The KU Endowment Association has also provided additional support which will be of significant help moving forward.

We look forward to sharing updates and successes with you as we adapt to the budget changes in coming years.  
A-R Book Club
It's a good day when you get to have book club. It's an even BETTER day when the author of the book you read comes to discuss the book with you and has a personal book signing! The  Audio-Reader Network  book club met yesterday to discuss "American Heart" and were especially honored to have author and  University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  Associate Professor,  Laura Moriarty , attend for discussion and signing of her riveting book. Thank you, Laura!

The Audio-Reader Book Club meets at 11:30 am on the second Tuesday of each month. They will be taking a road trip to Topeka for their June meeting. For more information contact Alison at
Taking our Readings to the Next Level
By Alison Beloin Dean, Coordinator of Volunteers
Audio-Reader held a successful volunteer training on April 18 th , nearly 30 volunteers attended - about half of the attendees joined us virtually! The handouts are available at .

Charles Decedue shared great audio description tips. He reminded us all to “be the eyes, not the brain” of the listener. Charles shared his technique of starting his description with the largest, most important aspects of the object/picture, and adding details from there.

Mary Ann Saunders shared lots of excellent examples of how to "tell" the listener instead of “read to” the listener, in order to make her programs more engaging, regardless of the content. One of Mary Ann's tips was to raise the tone of your voice at the end of a sentence to prevent the last few words from fading out.

Carl Graves focused his talk on how to prepare for live and recorded programs. I was blown away by his ingenuity, he has figured out how long it takes him to read an inch of print, and has created a "reading ruler"! He can measure an article and know about how much air time it will fill – brilliant! He shared a handout of his many tips with attendees, and it is on our website along with the other handouts from the training at .

Watch out for our next training, coming in July!
Give Back Night at Panera
Join us at Panera Bread on Thursday, May 23rd, from 4 - 8 PM and a portion of the proceeds will go to Audio-Reader!

Bring this flyer or show an electronic version to the cashier to benefit Audio-Reader.
Open Reading Assignments
Looking for something new to do this summer? We can help...with opportunities to help individuals who are blind or visually impaired!

Contact Alison if you are interested in taking on any of the following, long or short term!
  • Topeka Capital Journal, Tuesdays Reader 1, Telephone Reader
  • Topeka Capital Journal, Thursdays Reader 2, Telephone Reader
  • Dollar General Ad, Sundays, Telephone Reader
  • Alphapointe, KC Metro, one-hour recording on Mondays
  • Alphapointe, KC Metro, one-hour recording every-other Friday
  • Springfield live readers, one-hour on Monday, Thursday or Friday
  • Springfield News-Leader, Thursday, Telephone Reader
  • Front Desk Volunteers on Monday afternoons, Tuesday Morning and afternoon, Thursday Morning and afternoon
Audio Description: Starlight Theatre & Lawrence Busker Fest!
by Nick Carswell, Program Manager
We are excited to continue our Audio Description program this summer with a series of live descriptions at Starlight Theatre this Summer! Audio Description allows blind and visually impaired patrons to enjoy live theatre by offering nonvisual language broadcast over headset, to describe elements of the performance. We will be describing 7 different productions over the summer, with help from our excellent group of trained audio describers!

In addition, we are excited to partner with the 12th Annual Lawrence Busker Festival to provide audio description of performances on Saturday, May 25th at the New Hampshire Stage - Sponsored by the Lawrence Arts Center.

This year's Busker Fest is the world's first all-female festival and volunteers will be on hand to describe the wild antics of the Lawrence Busker Fest performers. Depending on patron demand, some headsets will be available for the general public to experience what audio description is. Information about Audio-Reader's other programs and services will be on site.

If you are attending the Lawrence Busker Fest on May 25th, feel free to drop by the Audio-Reader booth in front of the Lawrence Arts Center, 1:30pm to 7:30pm.

Visit or share this page for more info:
More Summer Events!
Live on Mass! with Audio-Reader
This summer Audio-Reader is partnering with The Granada during their “Live on Mass” July 12 concert. If you’re not familiar with this, the Granada Theater puts on a free, outdoor concert series on the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street in Lawrence. This year, during their July 12 th concert, they are partnering with Audio-Reader as the featured non-profit to help raise crucial funds and necessary awareness for our organization.

What does that mean? The Granada provides two different concession stands at the concert where they serve drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). They will donate 100% of the tips brought in from these two concession stands. This has amounted anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500! Audio-Reader gets to work these concession stands, pouring drinks (No mixing! Just simple ready-made drinks), talking with concert-goers, and having a great time.

We need help working these concessions! Audio-Reader staff will be present at each of the concessions but we need the help of our volunteers to make this event happen. We need volunteers who are willing to work from 5:30-midnight and who will be standing for a good portion of that time. You’ll get to enjoy this concert series and will be helping Audio-Reader raise crucial funds at the same time.

If you are able and willing to help us during this Friday, July 12 concert please email Meredith Johanning at or call directly at 785-864-4634. Making a difference while having fun! What can be better than that?  
Calling All Volunteers!
Have you been looking for other ways to get involved with Audio-Reader outside of reading?
by Meredith Johanning, Assistant Development Director
Sensory Garden Volunteers: Do you have a love for gardening? Do you enjoy being outdoors? Our Sensory Garden is run completely by volunteers under the direction of head garden volunteer, Frank Male, and we are in need of more regular volunteers. When the weather is nice, volunteers usually meet once a week on Thursday mornings for an hour to work in the garden. That day and/or time doesn’t work for you? No problem! We are flexible and you can come on your own time to complete the necessary weekly tasks. We also host 2-3 Saturday garden work days in the Spring and Fall. We can always use volunteer during these garden work days (garden work day dates are set in August for the next year). Help make a difference in the Sensory Garden!
FYEO Donation-Season Volunteers: Each year during our “For Your EARS Only” donation season, we are in need to volunteers who can pick up donations at the KCUR office in Kansas City , MO and bring them to Audio-Reader. Are you based in Kansas City but come read in Lawrence? Do you live in Kansas City but need an excuse to come visit Lawrence? This opportunity is for you! We would love your help delivering a load or two to Lawrence this summer. We have had an amazing base of volunteers helping us accomplish this task over the last several years but we are in need of more help. Please let us know if you are able to help regularly or on a one-time basis during the months of July, August and the first couple weeks of September.

Silent Auction Volunteers: Your Audio Reader Development team is working harder than ever to raise more money at our fundraisers, but we need your help to recruit items and gift cards for silent auction baskets and prizes. We will give you everything you need: a script so you know what to say, answers to their most common questions, etc. Volunteers can help make phone calls, pick up donated items, go business to business to ask in person, etc. One volunteer came in early to make calls, and another went door to door while her husband was reading, easy as that! We need help immediately for the Golf Tournament, and throughout the summer for FYEO. 
Golf Tournament Volunteers: The 10th Annual Audio Reader Golf Classic, presented by McDaniel Knutson Financial Partners, will be Monday, June 3 rd at Eagle Bend Golf Course. Some of our regular volunteers aren’t able to help this year, so we need a few new volunteers. You don’t have to know anything about golf! We have a variety of volunteer opportunities, such as hanging out with a friend while passing out beverages, or helping at the games and contests. Golf Tournament volunteers either help the whole day (8am-2:30pm), or in shifts, so we can work with your availability. It’s a really good time for a really good cause!

If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please contact Meredith at or call the Development team at 785.864.4600. Thank you!
Party in Springfield - 1st Anniversary Success!
Welcome New Volunteers!!
Marchelle Brown is a nurse and songwriter. She is currently learning how to play the piano. Her mother was legally blind and Marchelle reads for Audio-Reader in her honor. Marchelle joins us reading the Iola Register from home on Thursdays.

Hannah Ehmke is a KU business student and a member of the Student Senate. She is also a singer and plays the piano. She is reading the UDK for Audio-Reader.

Turner Fishpaw is completing his Family Medicine Residency this month, CONGRATS Turner! He is also a singer, and enjoys traveling and gardening. Turner is starting as a substitute at Alphapointe.

Natalie Mahan is a Library Specialist at KU and is also working on her Masters degree at Emporia State. She also volunteers at the Lawrence Public Library at the Pontotoc Animal Welfare Society. Natalie is reading KC Metro newspapers for Audio-Reader each Monday.

Madison Manche-McMillan is a KU Sophomore joining us as a substitute reader. Growing up she gardened and raised chickens with her family. Her focus at KU is Pre-Physician Assistant in the Exercise Science Program.

Anne Roberts is mostly retired. After 35 years as a CFO she has started "Cooking with Yaya", a business where she takes cooking classes into preschools, day cares and homes. Anne is also reading the UDK for Audio-Reader.

Diane Shulz joins Audio-Reader in Springfield as a substitute live reader. She is a retiree from the Springfield Police Department. Diane comes to us with experience, she has been reading to a friend with macular degeneration.

Horace Smith is returning to Audio-Reader as a substitute at Alphapointe. He enjoys fishing, going to the movies and being a companion to a 96 year-old every Monday!

Libby Smith is a retired nurse. She enjoys c ooking, knitting, gardening, reading and travel. She has added reading Prevention Magazine for Audio-Reader to her list of worthwhile hobbies!
Congrats Martha!

Cheers to our very own Martha Kehr! Martha is the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Support Staff Award ! Martha is praised for, “creating a welcoming and supportive environment with her warming smile.” The department says that she makes a difference in the lives of her students with her, “continuous positive energy, professionalism, and high level of ethics.” 

Martha reads our weekly "Shopping the Discount Stores" which airs on Tuesdays at 10:30 am.

If you have news, please share it with Alison, We love to hear what our volunteers are up to outside of Audio-Reader.
1 - Karen Boyer, Mary Howe & Sean Easterly
2 - Carla Tilghman & John Bowden
3 - Brandon Edling & Jack Wilson
5 - Lisa Coble-Krings & Melissa Wick
6 - Donna Decedue
7 - Nick Carswell
8 - Carol Holstead & Beth McKenzie
9 - Jim Powers & Kathy Blackburn
11 - Connie Mitchell
12 - Kimberly Morrow
13 - John Davis
14 - Gus McClelland
16 - Joanie Underwood
17 - Jason Kingman & Rex Swartz
19 - Tim Nauman & Doug Washburn
20 - Janis Hutchison
21 - Vanetta Wick, Cindy Penzler & Robert Heintzen
22 - Michael Rapport
23 - Joyce Richards
24 - Gary Wilbers, Bonnie Sullivan & Max Mayse
25 - Julian Silverman
26 - Rob Johnson
27 - Daniel Kesterson & David Wallace
28 - Kerry Magee
29 - Lorie Williams & Gene Vollen
30 - Ann Dean, Evie Rapport & Meredith Johanning
31 - Katie Pierron
1 - Lorel Lewis & Kris Koenig
3 - Merilee Dymacek & Chris Hotvedt
5 - Fred Miller
6 - Laura Denneler & Richard Gier
7 - Kay Rute
8 - Renee Claire
12 - David Kent & Virginia Smith
13 - Angelique Short
18 - Kathy Sanders
20 - Don Frey
21 - Cheryl Spain & Lesley Brancaccio
22 - Ashlie Hand
23 - Kathe Dougherty & Mary Ann Saunders
24 - Thomas Howe & David Dinneen
25 - Todd Nixon & Guy Jacobs
26 - Bruce Roberts
27 - Jim Huber
29 - Dennis Frame