The Legacy of Innovation Gala

The Legacy of Innovation Gala celebrates the contribution of one of America’s greatest innovators and teachers, Alexander Graham Bell. Dr. Bell was not only father of the modern telecommunications industry, he also dedicated his life’s work to the deaf and hard of hearing. Proceeds from the Legacy of Innovation Gala benefit the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Lance Allred

Lance Allred is the first legally deaf player in NBA history. Standing at 6’11, and born with severe hearing loss within a polygamist commune before his family escaped when he was 13,  Lance has had people all of his life placing limitations on him, but he never listened: he couldn’t hear very well anyway. With a world of stories and setbacks, Lance will take you and your audience on the inspiring story of his indomitable spirit and how eventually, through his own Will and Choice, went on to become the first deaf player in NBA history. Lance will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the 2016 Legacy of Innovation Gala.

Elena LaQuatra

Although bacterial meningitis took 100% of Elena LaQuatra’s hearing and balance at age four, she didn’t let that hold her back. After extreme rehabilitative measures, including numerous surgeries, Elena now hears with a Cochlear Implant. She spent her teenage years competing in pageants, winning the prestigious titles of Miss Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Teen in 2007 under the Miss America Scholarship Organization and placing 2nd runner-up at nationals, and Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA in 2010 under the Miss Universe Organization. Elena most recently won Miss Pennsylvania USA 2016 and competed on the national stage at this year's Miss USA. Elena is an esteemed guest of AG Bell at the 2016 Legacy of Innovation Gala.

Neil Maes

11-year old CI recipient who recently participated in the National Scripps Spelling Bee.  He also plays the piano and has a sister that also has a CI. Thanks to AG Bell, he was recently featured in The Washington Post, AP, NY Times, ABC news, WUSA Channel 9, Good Morning America and more! He traveled from SC to participate in a media briefing at the Volta Bureau on May 23rd. He will be an esteemed guest at the 2016 Legacy of Innovation Gala and hopes to continue to advocate for children like him. Here's a message from Neil about the Gala!

Brick Reilly

Brick was a contestant on American Gladiators, Season 2. He is from Springfield, NJ and is quite the athlete!  He was born deaf, and decided to receive a cochlear implant later in life so he could have the ability to hear. He continues to mentor and inspire deaf children in the New Jersey area, and recently invented a new device to assist safety protocols for professionals who operate heavy machinery. Here's a message from Brick about the Gala!