Mansfields open The Barn for deaf community

TONEY – Carl and Mary Mansfield have embarked on a venture that will fulfill a dream for them and benefit a segment of Madison County’s people.

On May 5, the Mansfields conducted a grand opening for The Barn, an actual red-sided barn in Toney. The property will serve as a social club and event venue for North Alabama’s deaf community.

The large open-beamed barn is situated on 2.5 acres. The Barn gives a location for the deaf community to socialize on weekends. “When I first laid eyes on this old barn, I knew we had found a home for our members — a place to relax, fellowship and bond,” Mary said.

Mary and Carl Mansfield both are deaf. They bought The Barn with a vision of creating a warm and welcoming community.

“As a deaf person, I know it’s easy to become isolated,” Mary said. “It’s important to have a sense of belonging.”

“Having a place to go on the weekends is so beneficial. Here we can play darts, watch movies, toss horseshoes or just share some laughs over food and drinks,” Mary said. “Beyond just the social benefits, we’ll also hold workshops to teach sign language, painting, sewing and more.”

North Alabama Deaf Club will hold their meetings at the Barn, according to club president Teana Campbell. To prepare for the grand opening, club members and residents volunteered to help the Mansfields with remodeling efforts.

Individuals have given generous donations so The Barn could open. “But our needs and our vision are bigger than our budget. Items are still needed, especially folding tables and chairs,” Mary said.

“It will take time, but one day this will be a full-scale event venue,” Mary said. “My daughter plans to be married here.”

The Barn’s address is 9930 Pulaski Pike in Toney. For more information or to contribute donations, email thedeafbarn@gmail.com.

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