NorCal Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing hosted their 27th Annual Deaf Family Day Picnic at Oak Grove Regional Park on Saturday, May 5.
The picnic welcomed people from both the hearing and non-hearing community.
Five to six hundred people visited the event throughout the course of the day.
“The purpose of this event is to fund raise for our organization,” said Rosie Boulware, Deaf volunteer coordinator.
The lunches included a hamburger, chips, cookies and a soda. The combo meal was sold for $5.
Delta College nursing major Veela Lymuel volunteered to help oversee the children’s play area.
“I monitored the children at the inflated obstacle course,” said Lymuel. “It was very entertaining.”
The picnic has become an annual opportunity for students taking sign language courses on campus to interact with the deaf community and sharpen their skill.
“I enjoyed the fact that the deaf [community] was so welcoming. They helped me learn different terms I did not know,” said Lymuel.
Many Delta College students enrolled in sign language courses volunteered to serve in a variety of different venues. Volunteer jobs ranged from overseeing children games and activities to serving lunch.
“This event is for deaf communities with families to get together and fellowship [with] hearing families,” said Boulware.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. children ran laughing and playing as their deaf and hearing parents intermingled.
Psychology major Jesse Aires also volunteered to watch the children at the event.
“It was really interesting seeing little kids sign a mile a minute,” said Aires. “Usually we hear [kids] talk a mile a minute, [but] these kids were doing it with their fingers.”
The event included 23 different booths offering information about organizations established by deaf people and businesses created in service to the Deaf community.
“That’s more [booths] than we have ever had in previous years,” said Boulware.
Every representative, including those representing major companies, was well-versed in sign language.
“That was another interesting thing,” said Aires. “You had [representatives] from Sprint mobile and Jamba Juice, and they all signed.”
As stated by Boulware, the goal of the picnic was to afford hearing people the opportunity to interact with families from the deaf community.
“It was an awesome experience,” said Lymuel. “I would like to come next year even if I am not in ASL, [American Sign Language] just for the practice and learning.”