Bobbleheads to benefit Kentucky School for the Deaf Foundation

Published 9:26 pm Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Virginia Moore has become somewhat of a celebrity during the last two months, as she has stood beside Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and provided American Sign Language interpretation to the state’s nearly 700,000 deaf or hard-of-hearing citizens.

In recognition of Moore, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is making a special bobblehead of Moore, and a portion of the proceeds will go to support the Kentucky School for the Deaf Charitable Foundation.

The funds will be used to purchase clear masks for deaf and hard-of-hearing students and teachers at KSD and other students and teachers across the state.

Traditional face masks make it difficult for those in the deaf or hard of hearing community, as they often rely on visual cues to understand what the speaker is saying.

Toyah Robey, principal at KSD, said they are very grateful that the organization is looking to support the school and noted the importance that clear face masks have for students and staff at the school.

“Facial features are a part of American Sign Language,” Robey said. “It can be very challenging without the ability to see the full face.”

The school has been able to secure several clear face masks, and is working with the Boyle County Health Department and other organizations on securing other personal protective equipment, but Robey noted that teachers have even pitched in to make clear masks.

Particularly, she mentioned KSD instructor Kimmie Curtis, who made clear masks for students at the school’s recent graduation ceremony.

“Right now, we’re just doing our best to be innovative,” Robey said.

The support from the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum will certainly help, Robey said.

Phil Sklar, co-founder and CEO of the museum, said his organization is glad to help and support the cause.

“When we reached out to Virginia, she was hoping to have the $5 donated to an organization that would benefit from having clear masks, so that’s how we found Kentucky School for the Deaf and we are glad to help,” he said.

Sklar said he thinks the bobbleheads will be popular with Moore’s rising notoriety and a heavy volume of requests after releasing a bobblehead of Beshear earlier this year.

“Bobbleheads are the ultimate honor, and we think Virginia Moore deserves it given the unheralded work she has done and continues to do for the deaf and hard-of-hearing people in Kentucky during the battle against COVID-19,” Sklar said. “After releasing the bobblehead of Gov. Beshear, we received a lot of requests for a bobblehead of Kentucky’s number one interpreter, and we are excited to make it happen.”

Sklar said that the organization has created other bobbleheads and donated a portion of the proceeds to the “Protect the Heroes” fund in support of the 100 Million Mask Challenge, aimed at providing healthcare workers on the frontlines with the personal protective equipment they need.

The cost of the bobblehead is $25 with an $8 shipping fee. The company is donating $5 from every bobblehead sold to the KSD Charitable Foundation.

The bobblehead, standing about seven inches tall, portrays Moore making the American Sign Language sign for love. In addition to her head, Moore’s hands also bobble.

The bobbleheads are available for preorder and will ship in August, according to Sklar, and can only be found on the company’s online store at https://store.bobbleheadhall.com/products/moore.