Callier to Get $630,000 from Crystal Charity Ball for Hearing Aid Project
From left: Dr. Jeff Martin, head of the audiology program at the Callier Center, and Dr. Thomas Campbell, executive director of the Callier Center, meet with Tucker Enthoven, Crystal Charity Ball Underwriting chairwoman, and Michal Powell, Crystal Charity Ball chairwoman, during a bus tour of this year’s beneficiaries.
The Crystal Charity Ball has selected the Callier Center for Communication Disorders at UT Dallas to receive $630,000 for a project that will provide hearing aids and follow-up services to 360 children from low-income families in Dallas County over a three-year period beginning in 2016.
“I am thrilled that the Callier Center will receive this much-needed funding to help children with hearing impairments receive hearing aids and services that they otherwise could not afford. I deeply appreciate the Crystal Charity Ball for believing in and advocating for our mission,” said Bennett Cullum, president of Foundation for the Callier Center and Communication Disorders, the separate 501(c)(3) organization that serves as an advisory committee and fundraising board to the center.
It was through the foundation that the center was able to request funding.
The Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Hearing Aid Project will allow each child to receive two hearing aids, batteries and several sets of ear molds as the child grows. Services provided will include hearing aid selection and fitting, ear mold appointments, follow-ups and visits with hearing aid technicians.
Over the years, the demand for hearing services at the Callier Center has increased, along with the need to support children from low-income families. Each year, Callier provides hearing services to about 750 children, and at least 65 percent of them have Medicaid insurance, which helps pay for health care for low-income families with children. But Medicaid reimbursement does not cover the total cost to provide hearing aids and services.
“I am thrilled that the Callier Center will receive this much-needed funding to help children with hearing impairments receive hearing aids and services that they otherwise could not afford. I deeply appreciate the Crystal Charity Ball for believing in and advocating for our mission.”
“Years of research has proven that when hearing loss in young children is not adequately diagnosed and treated, their speech, language, academic, emotional and psychosocial development is adversely affected,” said Dr. Jeff Martin, clinical assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and head of audiology at the Callier Center. “Early listening experiences are critical for the development of speech-language abilities, and spoken language forms the foundation for literacy.”
In the presentation to Crystal Charity Ball members, Richard Neely, an emeritus trustee of the Foundation for the Callier Center, shared his experience as a young patient at Callier.
Neely, who received his first hearing aid at age 7, said that the center changed his life by helping him learn to use technology to hear, use lip-reading to better listen and speech therapy to speak more clearly.
The presentation also featured a video of Cason Sherrod, a Callier patient who would have qualified and benefited from the hearing aid project.
Several years ago, Sherrod lived with his father, who was making just enough money to keep a roof over their heads. On a very limited income and with no insurance, the family could not pay for hearing aids. But with support from donors in the community, Callier provided the aids, and as a result, Sherrod said he was able to hear birds chirp for the first time. Now, he is a freshman on a baseball scholarship at Texas A&M University.
“The Crystal Charity Ball Pediatric Hearing Aid Project will allow us to partner in a commitment to transform the lives of children with hearing impairments from low-income families,” said Dr. Thomas Campbell, the Ludwig A. Michael, MD, Executive Director of the Callier Center and Sara T. Martineau Professor. “Together, we will provide essential hearing services to significantly improve the quality of life for these children.”
Established in 1952, the Crystal Charity Ball has raised more than $123 million for nonprofit agencies that help children in Dallas County. This year, the 100 active members of the organization have committed to raise a record $6.3 million for 11 organizations, including the Callier Center, through the generosity of its underwriters and a variety of fundraising initiatives.
To make a contribution to the pediatric hearing aid project, visit crystalcharityball.org or call Tucker Enthoven at 214-526-5868, ext. 14.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].