Around the globe, the Fiji Deaf Ministry has many supporters. As Jim says, “We are a ‘hand to mouth’ ministry”, relying primarily on donations for support. Here in Rhode Island, Jim’s sister, Agnes Chretien (center), is one of those faithful supporters. Once again, she has worked tirelessly to organize and run the 8th annual Deaf Hope Golf Tournament. Her crew of helpers consisted of other members of the Cooney clan: (left to right) sister-in-law Peggy Cooney, and sisters Anne Cooney and Kathleen Puchalla, and cousin Eileen Cooney. Once again, the tournament was a great success, raising about $7000 US for the deaf ministry. Under Agnes’ leadership, the tournament has grown every year in popularity, with over fifty participants.
Many wonderful prizes were donated and given out at the tournament; a special one being a gift of ten to fifteen lobsters, with a wine basket, donated every year by Sandy and Roy Campanale. Roy owns a lobster business, and his wife Sandy, who is deaf, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School for the Deaf. She was the first deaf from RISD to enter a work experience program, where she was hired by Hospital Trust Bank and eventually became the office manager. She now manages the office for Roy’s lobster business. Sandy volunteered in Fiji in 2004, and helped organize and set up our computer lab. She also worked with deaf adults at the newly formed Fiji Deaf Association. Sandy and Roy also hosted a team of five Fiji deaf students in their home, when we brought the team to America in 2008. Sandy and Roy have played in all eight of the golf tournaments, and have been faithful supporters of the Fiji Deaf Ministry for many years.