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Big boost during Better Hearing-Speech Month


Published:   |   Updated: July 8, 2014 at 01:42 PM

May, which is Better Hearing and Speech Month, gives organizations such as Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding or hearing. During the month of May it was all about connecting with people through communication.

So we at the Sertoma Foundation, both staff and board, want to thank our county’s tax collector’s office for partnering with our Foundation to celebrate the month of May by placing emphasis on the Foundation’s Children’s Hearing Help Fund. To do that, Mike Fasano’s office mailed information about how drivers can participate to nearly 25,000 individuals whose licenses needed to be renewed that month. CHHF encourages drivers who are renewing their license or motor vehicle registration to check the box for CHHF and add a dollar or more to their fee. That amount, then, is donated to Sertoma Foundation through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Tax Collector Mike Fasano knows hearing loss can be devastating at any age, but in a newborn or small child, it can hinder their development and ability to succeed in life. The services provided by the Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation’s CHHF have made the lives of countless children better. A donation of any amount will assist children in being able to live their lives to the fullest. All proceeds from this effort will benefit the CHHF that is supported by the Sertoma Foundation.

When drivers check the box on their driver’s license renewal forms, it helps us assist hard-of-hearing babies, children and adults to hear the world around them so they can succeed personally, academically and socially. We were very grateful to Mike Fasano and his office for helping us spread the word about CHHF.

The total collected in Pasco County in May with 3,613 people contributing amounted to $9,937.86. The total collected for the foundation in other counties in the state was $2,765.46, for a total of $12,703.32 overall. The last time we had a month of contributions that was this great was in August 2008.

The best treatment for hearing loss of any degree is appropriate early intervention. Significant delays may result in irreversible harm to a child’s hearing, speech, language and eventual educational development. Because of this need to raise not only necessary funds but also awareness, we sincerely thank Mike Fasano and his staff at the tax collector’s office for partnering with us toward this effort. We also thank all the renewing drivers for their consideration and contributions.

Hearing loss is the most common birth defect nationally. Early detection and intervention are vital for an infant to have the opportunity to access speech and other sounds for learning and brain development. The mission of the Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida is to provide quality developmental and rehabilitative services, products and education — primarily to children — throughout Florida, in a caring and compassionate environment, never limited by the ability to pay.

Craig McCart is the executive director of the Sertoma Speech & Hearing Foundation of Florida, in New Port Richey.

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