MANSFIELD ─ The fast-approaching June fundraiser is essential to the Mansfield Sertoma Club, especially at a time when the children’s needs have grown.
The international organization established its Mansfield club in 1940 and has since supported children with hearing impairment in Richland and all surrounding counties.
Mansfield Sertoma will have its annual fundraiser, Mansfield Motorama, on June 13 at the Mansfield Fire Museum. Allen said the nonprofit is looking for sponsorships for trophies and medals along with donations for raffle items and door prizes. Cash donations are also welcome.
Besides featuring all kinds of antique automobiles, Allen said a 50-foot hot wheels track will be available for the children while the event is going on. The show will start at noon with the registration of $10. The fire museum will be open free of charge to the public.
Treasurer Steve Allen said the COVID-19 pandemic has made learning more challenging for those children because they do not get the exposure to the trained professionals as they did before.
To make matters worse, Sertoma was unable to hold any fundraisers last year due to the pandemic.
“Now, just because we didn't generate income, it doesn't mean the needs in the community went down,” Allen said. “They actually went up.”
Mansfield Sertoma has supported children and teenagers with hearing loss in various ways, including offering scholarships. Allen said the nonprofit provides financial support to those who plan to go on to college. It also helps individuals going into a field, such as audiology, that would benefit the hearing-impaired community.
About 150 to 200 children in the area receive Sertoma’s services now, Allen said. Some of them have made progress at schools after getting special equipment or learning supplies donated by the organization.
Allen said Sertoma provided a bone conduction headset to a Butler Elementary School student. With pads resting on the cheekbone, the device can help users who have outer-ear damage and working cochlea to hear “crystal clear.”
The girl who received the equipment could not focus on her teacher and was not interested in learning, Allen said. With the hearing aid, she started paying attention in class and her testing scores went up, too.
Allen said sometimes deaf children are treated as if they are not as smart as other kids.
“And that's just not the case. It's not that they're not smart. They just can't hear what you're saying,” he said.
Those interested in supporting the event can contact Steve Allen at 419-775-8843 or email@example.com.