Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Big Turnout for Center’s Young Friends’ Fundraiser
























Young Friends members had fun at Granite City Food & Brewery on January 27. The group builds awareness for the Center’s speech therapy and audiology services while uniting young professionals at fun social events.   

The January fundraiser attracted 30 new members and provided the Center for Hearing & Speech’s Young Friends group with more volunteers for its community involvement, social events and public education efforts.

“I believe the majority of the attendees were new Young Friends, so we had a great reach with this event,” said Center volunteer and Young Friends president, Julia Grunloh, about the group’s first fundraiser of the year. 

Granite City Food & Brewery (GCF&B) in Creve Coeur hosted the January 27 “Dine to Donate” fundraising night for the Center. The restaurant donated 20 percent of the night’s total purchases to the Young Friends group.

“We feel it is important to do the ‘Dine-to-Donate’ fundraisers so we can help nonprofit organizations raise money for their causes,” said Kaitlyn Twidwell, GCF&B’s local store marketer. “We want to be as involved with our own community and the communities around us as possible. We love helping raise money for those who need it. Our goal is to help a minimum of five organizations a month. Our connection with the Center is becoming a strong one.”

The next Young Friends event is Friday, March 13, at Hollywood Casino St. Louis as part of the Center’s annual fundraiser, ‘Swinging to the Beat for Hearing & Speech.’  Attendees will enjoy delicious food and drink, exciting auctions and fun raffles. Individual Young Friend tickets are just $50. Members are encouraged to invite friends and purchase a ticket 4-pack for $160. 

The Young Friends is a group of professionals who build awareness for the Center, an organization that delivers high-quality speech therapy and audiology services to everyone, regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Through community involvement, social events and public education, the Young Friends work to support the mission of the Center while uniting talented, charitable and hard-working young professionals around a critical mission.

For more information related to the Center's Young Friends or volunteer program, contact Martha Coleman at colemanm@chsstl.org or by phone at 314-968-4710.   
                        
The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that in 2013 donated $1.75 million in speech/language, school screening and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities.

It is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH Award.


The award is given to charities and businesses that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kate Hudson Volunteers for Hearing Loss Treatment Charity

Recently Kate Hudson and her son Ryder volunteered for a hearing loss treatment charity that provided free hearing aids for low income adults in Mexico. Ryder is Kate's eldest son from her marriage to musician Chris Robinson. The actress also has a three-year-old son (named Bingham) from her relationship with Matthew Bellamy who is the lead singer for the band Muse. The couple announced their split last December, yet they remain on good terms for the sake of their son. When Hudson was honored as People Magazine’s Celebrity Role Model of the Year in 2014 she said, "My children are my role models, too. I think you can learn a lot from your kids – the purity and the sense of how they attack things and how they communicate is inspirational," she said.


During her speech for the award Hudson used a quote from a girl named Natalie about what it means to be a “role model”:

“Natalie said that a role model is a person with a clear sense of what is important to her, putting forth the effort to improve and creating things that will make a difference. Those are the principles that I live my life by. And what is important to me is to recognize that life is a journey with its ups and its downs, and its challenges and trials, and all the while we need to stay resilient and focused on your goals and your truth.”

You don’t need to be a Hollywood star or travel all the way to Mexico to get involved with charities. The Center is hosting their annual event called Swinging to the Beat for Hearing & Speech on Friday, March 13, 2015. This is a wonderful opportunity for St. Louisans to get involved right here in the greater St. Louis area. Providing hearing loss treatment and free hearing aids for low income adults is the main focus of the Center. Donations make it a reality for folks who are desperately in need of assistance.


During the charity event in Mexico Hudson said, "Seeing the smiles of people hearing clearly for the first time has been an amazing and spirited experience.” On a side note, your donations to the Center can help local children and adults. You can experience this same feeling. 

Do you want more information about the Swinging to the Beat for Hearing & Speech charity event? The event will be held at the Hollywood Casino St. Louis on Friday, March 13, 2015 and tickets are available now. Go to http://www.hearing-speechstlouis.org/documents/EventFlyer_forwebsite.pdf for more information and specifics. All sale proceeds from the event benefit the Center’s Audiology, Speech/Language, and School Screening programs.


The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that in 2013 provided $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award.

The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.



Center to Host Pathways to Independence Learning Disability Classes Starting March 14








Center for Hearing & Speech is teaming up with learning disability nonprofit Pathways to Independence to host two Social College classes this spring at the Center’s Rock Hill location.

Pathways to Independence (PTI) assists adults with complex learning disabilities, specific forms of autism and associated disorders that impact their social abilities. Their innovative programming supports clients as they discover new levels of confidence while connecting with friends and their communities. PTI helps participants set goals and challenge themselves to reach for their full potential.

PTI’s Social College features multi-session group education events, inspired by challenges that learning disability clients frequently face, that provide the opportunity to fine-tune their skills in a supportive environment.
Both the Center and Pathways to Independence provide help to adults with disabilities,” explained Gina Cato, Center chief speech-language pathologist.  Cato was the instructor for a prior PTI class.

“Before we started to work with Pathways to Independence in 2014, the Center provided individual language therapy to adults with disabilities in the area of social skills,” Cato said. “Now, with Social College, we can also help adults improve social language skills in a group environment.  A group environment provides a variety of opportunities to practice new conversation skills.”

“The Center will continue to provide individual language therapy when needed, and we are excited to work with Pathways to Independence for Social College,” Cato continued.  “In turn, clients from Pathways to Independence are welcome to seek individual therapy sessions when needed.”

“PTI’s Social College was developed because nothing like it exists in the St. Louis community, especially for the people we specifically support,” explained Craig Strohbeck, PTI’s Executive Director. “For those who are often caught in between living completely independently and living with more structured services, PTI’s program reinforces social knowledge, trains participants in how to apply that information and then helps them transfer those skills into community settings.” 

To enroll in Social College, a person must meet the eligibility criteria for PTI involvement.

For a copy of PTI's Social College class brochure, click on the link below:

 To register for these classes, contact the PTI office directly at office@ptistl.org or call 314-863-0202, ext. 4.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that in 2013 donated $1.75 million in speech/language, school screening and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis and surrounding communities.

It is a proud member of the United Way of Greater St. Louis and was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH Award.


The award is given to charities and businesses that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Big Thanks to Julie Conrey, 'Loud & Clear' Blog Volunteer!



Center for Hearing & Speech thanks marketing and communications volunteer, Julie Conrey, for the donation of her time in the Center’s Development Department last year. Conrey has moved on to her new role as Director of Development at Holy Cross Academy.

Conrey had interviewed clients and staff and wrote articles for the Center’s Loud & Clear blog, volunteering more than 155 hours of her time at the Center and from home for the last four months.

"Julie was an excellent addition to our volunteer team and Development Department,” said Martha Coleman, the Center’s communications and volunteer manager. “With her dedication and expertise, we were able to get our Center blog back up and running and publish new articles on a weekly basis. Julie was instrumental in helping us re-brand and re-launch Loud & Clear. She shared ideas to help us utilize the blog to meet our goals of educating our readers and increasing overall Center awareness."
  
Conrey felt that her role at the Center was to help spread the word about communications disorders and how, if not addressed, they could have a negative impact on one's quality of life. 

“It's an unfortunate fact that many children and adults in St. Louis, for many different reasons, don't have access to treatments for communications disorders,” she explained. “The Center fills a big hole in providing health care for those who need it. It was truly a privilege to be a very small part of that process.

Conrey said the part she most enjoyed about working at the Center was meeting all the other volunteers and the staff and getting to know their different roles.  She liked talking with them and hearing all of their individual stories.

Since three of her four children experienced speech therapy when they were young, Conrey felt a special connection to the Center’s cause. Her youngest son, Patrick, had multiple ear infections from the time he was six months to 18 months old. 

“The only people who ever understood a word he said were my oldest son, Miller, and me,” she said.  “Patrick was, and is, a very outgoing person. It broke my heart when people ignored him because they couldn't understand what he was saying. He spent many years in speech therapy correcting his speech deficits.”

In her new job, Conrey will manage fundraisers, coordinate open houses, and maintain the school's website and social media. In her spare time, Conrey likes gardening, reading and continues to write her own blog.

The Center for Hearing & Speech is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that in 2013 provided $1.75 million in speech/language and audiology services to residents of metropolitan St. Louis.

It is a proud member of the United Way and in October was awarded the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) 2014 TORCH award.


The award is given to businesses and charities that “demonstrate a commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices,” according to the BBB.        

Monday, February 9, 2015

Affordable Hearing Aids?

Affordable hearing aids are harder to find than one might expect. My parents live in California, and my father went to get a set of hearing aids in December. The whole family was surprised to find his hearing aids cost $5,000. We were definitely thankful this Christmas that my parents had the funds available to pay for them. The ability to hear is one of the aspects of life we often take for granted. My Dad was literally driving my Mother mad, since she would ask him things, and he could never hear her. She told me she had to make sure he was looking directly at her when she spoke to him so he could read her lips. The hearing aids had a huge impact on both my parents in that regard.    



When I saw an opportunity to volunteer at The Center for Hearing & Speech, I jumped at the chance to get involved. I guess seeing the effect hearing aids had on my parent’s lives really convinced me that there must be a huge need for underprivileged folks to gain access to hearing devices. I’m really just beginning to volunteer here, but have already learned a lot about the diverse options available to their clients. Thankfully not all hearing aid sets cost $5,000. There are options to fit almost all budgets, but The Center also provides care and devices to folks who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. This is where the biggest need lies. The Center holds many special events during the course of the year to encourage people to donate money to their cause. Donations are pivotal for The Center to continue to offer hearing devices to those who cannot afford them, and the good people of St. Louis have always been very generous.

The Center has assembled a fantastic team of audiologists, assistants, and clerical staff to work with their clients, but also their talented behind the scenes players organize their donor events, and everything necessary to run a non-profit organization. The support they receive from their Board of Directors also factors into their success.

My professional background is in marketing for dentists, and I often use this motto for my clients, “Changing Lives One Smile at a Time.” I think I’ll have to come up with a slogan for The Center. They really are changing lives every day, and I feel blessed to be a part of the team.

I have volunteered at my local church on many occasions such as Vacation Bible School (a one week event for kids each summer), to paint and work at the church, and as a member of the choir each week. Volunteering at The Center has been a wonderful avenue for me to extend my reach into the community so I can volunteer more regularly.

Have you volunteered, or donated money to an organization that was dedicated to helping improve the lives of people in such a tangible way? The Center for Hearing and Speech would love to have you get involved. Volunteers and donations are always welcome. To find out more about how you can help, email Martha Coleman at colemanm@chsstl.org

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Center Welcomes Teri Flotron, New 'Loud & Clear' Blog Volunteer

Center Welcomes Teri Flotron, New ‘Loud & Clear’ Blog Volunteer











Teri Flotron is a new volunteer in the Development Department at the Center for Hearing & Speech. 

Flotron has worked in corporate and nonprofit marketing communications all over the country, including St. Louis, Chicago, San Antonio and Los Angeles.  She returned to St. Louis to spend time with family.  Besides her consultant work and spending breaks with her college kids, she is currently enrolled in digital technology college classes and trains her two Standard Poodles in agility and tricks.  Flotron also conducts therapy dog visits at nursing homes and helps the local parrot and poodle rescue organizations.


She resides in Wildwood with her husband Chris, her dogs and a cranky rescued Senegal Parrot named Taz.