Each year the Huntington Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Foundation raises money for the Speech and Hearing Center at Marshall University.
Dillard Price said communication with his daughter, Krista improved after therapy at the Marshall University Speech and Hearing Center. The Center focuses on working with children and adults in the area to help improve their speech and also works with children who have encountered hearing issues.
“When Krista was two we noticed that her communication wasn’t where we wanted it to be and we just had a lot of trouble with her saying words and repeating words, very limited vocabulary,” Price said.
Price said Krista’s vocabulary has improved but it wouldn’t have happened without the help of a scholarship from the Huntington Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Foundation. The foundations has played a vital role in the ability of Krista and other children to receive financial support for the Speech and Hearing Center. Each year the Foundation provides enough money to the center for one worker’s salary.
“The Scottish Rite Program, the scholarship program, we are very thankful for because without the program we would not be here,” Price said.
It’s testimonials like that make Pam Holland and the staff at the Speech and Hearing Center realize the importance of their work. She’s the director of Clinical Education in the Department of Communication Disorders. It’s a program that graduates speech language pathologists.
“The speech and hearing center is the clinical aspect of that, so we provide clinical education for our students,” Holland said. “We have a dual mission of providing quality service provision for our clients as well as providing education for our students, so the speech and hearing center serves those two purposes.”
Holland said in 2002 the Huntington Scottish Rite reached out to help the Marshall Speech and Hearing Center. She said it was part of the group’s greater mission, and the help is indescribable to the center.
“It’s priceless, it truly is something that we are blessed with. The Masons not only provide the financial support, but they work really hard to raise the money for that, so it’s not just something that they’re pulling out of a bank account,” Holland said. “We know that they’re working very hard and very diligently to raise additional funds every year.”
Jim Lackey is a member of the Huntington Scottish Rite Freemasons.
Lackey said working to help the center is deeper than finances.
“It’s very important to me, I had a grandson go through the program early on in its infancy 30-some years ago and they helped him,” Lackey said.
And Lackey remembered that later in life when the organization had a chance to help the Speech and Hearing Center in 2002. He said his family had to pay very little for the services that were provided and they just want to give other families the same chance.
“We tried to continue that, make services available to families who are not able to afford care for their children, to me it’s personal and I take a personal interest in it,” Lackey said.
Dillard Price said what the speech and hearing center have meant for his daughter Krista is huge. He said you could see the changes over night.