Last May David Schuessler received an unusual call from Bill Dickinson. Schuessler is DU’s national director of event fundraising. Dickinson is CEO and cofounder of TETRA Hearing, winner of the 2019 Guns & Ammo Technology of the Year Award. “I picked up the phone,” David recalls, “and Bill immediately said, ‘I was participating in the Tennessee virtual event last night, and there has to be a way we can help.’ I laughed and said, ‘Give me some units to raise money with!’”
That’s exactly what Bill did, donating 25 of TETRA’s Waterfowl AlphaShield 60 models to be used exclusively in virtual events throughout the country. The event Bill was referring to was a Tennessee DU virtual event, one of the organization’s first statewide virtual fundraisers, which DU began organizing when COVID restrictions shut down many traditional events. Though they have become commonplace today, many of the first virtual fundraising events got off to a rocky start, as DU staff and volunteers adjusted to producing something more like a television show than a banquet.
“We look back and laugh at ourselves a little bit now, but it was kind of scary at first,” David says. “But DU supporters hung in there with us. Donations like the ones TETRA provided gave us confidence and something to highlight an evening with.”
In addition, TETRA cofounder Dr. David Gnewikow drove to Memphis to take part in DU’s annual Third Term collegiate leadership summit this past August, which was also held virtually. His presentation on the origins of TETRA and the importance of hearing protection to long-term health was a spotlight industry presentation to Third Term attendees.