Fredonia Lions help the hearing impaired
Fredonia Lions gathered at the Fredonia Methodist Church for their annual Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 20. Vice President Bruce Armour led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, while Paul Mitchell gave the invocation.
Lion Bruce introduced the evening’s guests prior to dinner: Gene Shelhamer, Past District Governor representing Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation; Kate Faunce, audiologist at Connect Hearing in Grove City; Judy King, associate at Connect Hearing; and Lion Josh Adams, representing the Boy Scouts of America.
Following the outstanding meal prepared and served by Aunt Ginny’s Diner staff, the regular meeting commenced with the following date announcements:
• Dec. 1: Fredonia Christmas in the Park with cookies and hot chocolate at the Lion’s Den following the lighting of the trees.
• Dec. 4: Lion’s Christmas Party at the Fredonia Presbyterian Church with the Mercer High School choir entertaining prior to dinner.
• Dec. 7: Rodeo at Sundance Arena.
• Dec. 18 is the regular meeting at the Den.
In addition to the December events the club adjusted the first meeting of the New Year, meeting Jan. 8 as opposed to the first Wednesday of the month, as New Year’s Day is the first Wednesday.
Lion Bruce introduced Kate Faunce, an audiologist with Connect Hearing and a hearing challenged individual herself, to outline and detail the “aCCessibility at the Guthrie” – a program that captions and amplifies for people with hearing loss the opportunity to enjoy movie theatre presentation in comfort.
Kate explained the discomfort for individuals with hearing loss when going to the movies, the progress of the program to aid those with hearing loss and how the funding has developed and will seek to continue progress in this area.
The Guthrie Theatre in Grove City, in partnership with Connect Hearing of Grove City, recently sought to change this discomfort for those individuals suffering some form of hearing impairment. In July, they began fundraising efforts to make movies accessible to individuals with hearing loss by offering devices that provide captions or amplifications for movies shown on their big screen. Many large theaters have this technology but due to limited renovations smaller theaters cannot afford such conveniences.
The Guthrie, a non-profit organization, needed to raise $5,500 for a system which would include glasses that have captioning built into them and amplifiers with headsets that are connected to the audio system in the theatre. Additionally, this system will describe movie scenes to individuals with vision impairment so that they may follow the film closer. The captioning devices may also be utilized with live theater productions performed at The Guthrie.
The Fredonia Lions Club was approached to help fund this project as one of the missions of Lions Clubs is to help individuals with hearing and vision loss. Realizing how perfectly this project fits their goals, Fredonia Lion Clint Glover prepared a grant for the project and submitted it to the Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation. With the persistence of Lion Clint and fellow Lion Gary Shelhamer, a grant for $1,000 was submitted and quickly processed. The Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation awarded a $1,000 grant to the project, with the Fredonia Lions Club matching the $1,000. As a result of these funds, The Guthrie plans to have the system in place by Christmas.