Aug 2018 Digital Journal
Sertoma's Nashville-chapter provides a $50,000 Grant to Music City's Premier Hearing Charity, Songs for Sound, and the HEARtheMUSIC Project.
Imagine living in Nashville incapable of hearing the music. Sertoma's mission is on point: Service To Mankind. Sertomans across the country are unified with a single purpose: serve communities and improve the lives of those who need help; specifically, improve the quality of life for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.
Songs for Sound's mission is to provide AWARENESS of hearing loss solutions, ACCESS to hearing loss screening and devices and encourage ACTION for those suffering from hearing loss and deafness. Songs for Sound aims to provide everyone with an opportunity to live a mainstream life full of sound and language, and of course, MUSIC.
Songs for Sound was founded by Kevin and Jaime Vernon of Nashville, Tennessee, parents of Lexi, whose diagnosis of profound hearing loss was originally missed and finally diagnosed at 1½ years old. The Vernon's learned that Lexi was eligible for a cochlear implant which took their daughter from a world of silence and allowed her to blossom into an active, speaking, and hearing child. Now, Lexi is 10 years old and a stellar student at Christ Presbyterian Academy. Lexi recently played in PGF Nationals as a top fastpitch pitcher in the U.S. for the 10U division.
When they found out Lexi was in fact deaf, they couldn't stand the thought of someone never hearing music like their wedding song or a break up song. These songs are tied to life's greatest moments and memories. My brother-in-law is the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, Gary LeVox. Can you imagine Lexi never hearing his amazing voice? Our mission is quite simple. Help people hear and help people hear the music.” Vernon continued, "I grew up with humble means in a small town in Ohio. I'm aware of healthcare issues in less fortunate areas of our cities and also rural America. My heart physically hurts to think of underserved children, seniors or veterans being missed. Lexi was profoundly deaf until the miracle of cochlear implants. Sertoma's support doesn't just mean a lot, it means EVERYTHING to this charity."
To date, Songs for Sound's Hear the Music Project, presented by Cochlear Americas, has provided close to 18,000 free hearing screenings and provided direct consultations, packets of checklists and information, hearing technology demos and more. Songs for Sound also offers a free Annual Kids Camp, serves the deaf in Montego Bay, Jamaica and has donated over $200,000 to hearing programs across the USA.
Sertoma's District Governor, Chris Wilson, responded, "The Sertoma Club of Nashville and our Hear Nashville program have helped over 800 people receive hearing aids in the last 7 years here in Nashville TN. We believe our partnership with Songs for Sound will allow us to grow our mission into other areas of the country while supporting the incredible work Songs for Sound is already doing by giving Americans access to hearing technologies such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.”