PAD History

The origin and history of PAD.

Phoenix Association of the Deaf, Inc. was initiated by six deaf adults in March, 1947, and was first called "The Phoenix Silent Club". At this initial meeting were Vito Don Diego, Loel and Herb Schriebner, Billy and Grace Wherry and Denzil Rue Shurtz. Mr. Don Diego was elected the first president. Loel Schnebner, secretary and William Wherry, treasurer. The meetings were held at the downtown Phoenix YMCA.

One year later, the membership had more than doubled with $230.59 in the treasury. Dues were 25 cents a month, and the organization voted to become a branch of National Association of the Deaf. The name was officially changed to "National Association of the Deaf, Phoenix Branch of NAD". At this same meeting, Herb Schriebner established the first sport activity undertaken by the organization -softball.

In January, 1949, because of the continued use of the Phoenix YMCA clubroom, YMCA requested that the organization have all its members join YMCA, and because of this, the name of the organization was again changed to "Phoenix YMCA Association of the Deaf, Phoenix Branch of NAD".

March 22, 1952 was the date of the 5th anniversary of PAD, and a celebration dinner was held at YMCA. At that time there was about thirty members with the treasury of $355.97.

The first recorded basketball team was established in 1956 and participated in the YMCA Church Athletic Association Basketball League. Rue Shurtz was the first coach and manager combined. The first recorded participation in an FAAD tournament occurred in 1961. Records show that PAD also joined AAAD at this time. (Our records may be incorrect as there are no earlier records in the PAD files.)

PAD moved out of YMCA in 1960 and the name was shortened to "Phoenix Association of the Deaf", and also became incorporated during this year. Affiliation with NAD was also terminated at this time. Thus, PAD became an independent organization.

At the fifteenth anniversary dinner in 1962, membership swelled to about 60 members. Dues were increased to 50 cents a month. The treasury consisted of $674.76.

Many activities besides sports were and are a constant drawing card for the deaf population of the Phoenix area. Old timers fondly remember the "progressive" parties where cocktails were served in one home, appetizers in another, soup in the next, and soon with a procession of cars going from one home to the next.