Elks launch speech and hearing month initiatives

The Elks and the Royal Purple Elks pose with the Speech and Hearing Month flag as Peggy Basler reads the proclamation. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

May is the month for the biggest cause for the local Elks and Royal Purple Elks lodge.

May is Hearing and Speech Month. Elks Lodge #58 and Royal Purple Elks Lodge #50 kicked off their celebrations and initiatives Monday with a flag raising at the lodge.

“Speech and hearing is the central (cause) the Elks support, said Elks secretary treasurer Grant Ursaki.

“Speech and Hearing Month helps us to raise the profile of speech and hearing in the community and among our members.”

Ursaki said speech and hearing issues are more hidden than other health concerns.

“It’s not life threatening, but it is life altering, he said.

“It changes their life – they’ve never heard anyone ever say ‘hello’, they have never heard a bird sing. They’ve never heard anyone say ‘IU love you’. We can fix that, but we need help.”

While there are a number of national activities going on during the month of May, the Elks and the Royal Purple Elks have been hard at work raising funds locally. The funds they raise are directed to the Elks and Royal Purple Fund for children, which works to help children with speech and hearing issues. The local chapter has the charity appeal ticket sales, and have been selling both in the lodge and out in the community. The ladies of the Royal Purple Elks have sold tickets at the mall, and have been running bingos for the cause.

“The more you come out and play bingo, the more you get a chance to win money, and if out don’t win you’re certainly helping the community,” Ursaki said.

Peggy Basler of the Royal Purple Elks talked about the difference that has been made through this annual fundraiser, through implants and hearing aids.

“I saw a little boy, six years old, that just had ocular implants,” she said.

“It’s fantastic what he could do.”