The Whatcom County Chapter Is Active and Engaged

The Whatcom County Chapter is an active, accomplished group of Washingtonians up north, including a crew dedicated to looping. Visit their website here.

While their in-person meetings are on hiatus during the pandemic, you can still join and support them, and you can join their online meetings.

The Whatcom County Chapter is holding a Zoom memorial service to honor Bert Lederer, who passed this February (see below for more about Bert.)

Remembering Bert Lederer
March 6, 2021 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Click to join Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 889 352 2564, Passcode: 17232103

One tap mobile: +12532158782,,8893522564#,,,,*17232103# US (Tacoma)

We will record this meeting and share it with Claydene and family so please join us if you can.  As always, if you need assistance with Zoom just let me know and we’ll do our best to get you set up.

–Larry Wonnacott, President
HLAA Whatcom County


In Memoriam   2.4.21

Bert Lederer

The Whatcom County Chapter is sad to announce the passing of its Co-Founder, Bert Lederer on February 4, 2021.  Bert was our patriarch, mentor, and friend.  While it’s hard to let him go, we are thankful for his sake — no longer in pain, fragile, and wondering for so long if this day will be his last.

Bert Grumpy Hat.jpg

Bert was active for decades in HLAA, dating back to its former name SHHH, Self Help for Hard of Hearing People. In the 1990’s with too few others he spear-headed the formation of our Chapter only to have to let it go.  Then in 2004 he tried again, this time successfully with co-Founder Charlene MacKenzie and the support of many others. His legacy will continue to live on through us: vital, relevant, and committed as we move through our 17th year and beyond.

Bert lived the HLAA mission, an indefatigable leader — informing, educating, supporting, and advocating. We have long witnessed and benefitted from his dedication, experience, insight, and foresight. Even more he drew us into the rare fellowship of people with hearing loss who refused to let it compromise the quality of our lives.

Oh Bert, we will miss you in so many ways — personally and in our many treasured shared times — benefitting from your timeless leadership. In your memory we will move on together with stronger, clearer purpose. Your spirit will remain our guiding light.

Those wishing to do so may remember Bert by contributing to the HLAA Whatcom Founders Fund.  The Founders Fund was recently established to provide scholarships to support 2 Whatcom County graduating High School seniors with hearing loss as they pursue post-secondary education.  The first awards will be announced made this Spring and will be renewed annually for up 4 years for each student.  Bert was aware of this effort and was “honored and humbled.”  Donations may be mailed to HLAA Whatcom County, PO Box 252, Bellingham 98227.  Contact Larry Wonnacott, Whatcom Chapter President, ( for further information.

Here’s HLAA-Whatcom County’s meeting information for when they resume gathering in person.

Meeting day and time:  3rd Saturday, 9:30 until 11:30 AM
Location:  Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, 2600 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham
Contact(s):  Mike Sweeney at 360-734-0469 or
Hearing Assistance Available: amplification, FM, and CART real-time captioning or Typewelling available at all meetings.

Meeting Video Archive

Missed an in-person Whatcom County Chapter meeting? Watch the videos below.


“Hearing Loss and Dementia” with Dr. Doug Backous, November 2019

“Optimizing Medical Encounters,” a panel discussion.