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Gary LeVox “Likes the Sound of That” and So Does his Niece Who Inspired Mom to Grow the Songs for Sound #HEARtheMUSIC Project

Rascal Flatts

Songs for Sound is on the move in Chicago this week including a very special attendance at the Rascal Flatts show at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater on August 7.

The #HEARtheMUSIC Project operates a mobile hearing health clinic sponsored by Phonak (global leader in hearing technology), the Memorial Foundation, and Cochlear Americas (global leader in cochlear implants and other implantable hearing solutions).  The clinic travels the nation administering free hearing screenings on the Ultimate Kiosk touch-screen system. You can visit the clinic at several community sites this month:

• Logan Square Boys & Girls Club – Aug. 3-4, 10am-5pm
• Southside YMCA, Aug. 5 – 8am-5pm
• Chicago Children’s Museum – Aug. 6, 10am-4pm
• Rascal Flatts at Hollywood Casino – Aug. 7 (TBA)
• Shriner’s Hospital, Aug. 10 – 9:30am-3:30pm
• Morgan Park Boys & Girls Club – Aug. 119am-5pm
• Sandridge Fitness Center – Aug. 13-14, 8am-3pm
• Louis L. Valentine Boys &Girls Club – Aug. 17, 8am-12pm
• Louis L. Valentine Boys & Girls Club – Aug. 18, 8am-5pm
• South Chicago YMCA & Senior Housing Center – Aug. 12, 8am-5pm
• Sandridge Fitness Center – Aug. 13-14, 8am-3pm
• Chicago Air & Water Show – Aug. 19-21 (TBA)

“Hearing loss is deeply personal for me,” said Songs for Sound founder Jaime Vernon, whose 8-year-old daughter, Lexi, received bilateral cochlear implants at 18 months old. “Lexi’s speech and hearing development were nearly derailed by an initial ‘she’s fine, let’s wait’ reaction. But the moment my baby went from total silence to hearing a whisper- then music- our lives were both sent in a beautiful new direction.” (See Lexi’s cochlear implant activation HERE.)

Music was Vernon’s first love. Raised in a home filled with gospel music and married to the younger brother of Rascal Flatts vocalist Gary LeVox, Vernon couldn’t picture her little girl’s life without a soundtrack. Lexi’s cochlear implant miracle inspired her to grow Songs for Sound.

On August 7, the #HEARtheMUSIC Project will reunite with Rascal Flatts at the Hollywood Casino Ampitheater show.

“As a musician I live and breathe music and can’t imagine a world without being able to hear,” says Gary LeVox. “This is a cause that really hits home for me. I know Lexi lives life to the fullest, including a gift we all need – music. I’m so glad to have the Hear the Music Project come and teach our fans about the importance of healthy ears, and I’m so proud that it’s from my family.”

Results from last year’s #HEARtheMUSIC pilot tour highlight the significance of the project. Over 2000 free hearing tests were given and nearly half (48%) of participants were referred for further testing. Here’s a breakout of those referred for further testing:

• 86% of veterans
• 49% of adults
• 38% of teens
• 20% of children

The 2016 tour kicked off in July and screened 1,500 ears in its first month. Many of those ears belong to the children of Indianapolis Boys & Girls Clubs where only 9 percent report knowing a loud concert can damage their ears and more than 50 percent report they have never received a hearing test. This is not surprising since awareness and access are common barriers to hearing healthcare.

“Due to lack of awareness and access, less than 5 percent of those able to benefit from a cochlear implant are being treated,” said Patricia Trautwein, VP of Marketing for Cochlear Americas. “Cochlear is thrilled to sponsor a program that combines mobile health screenings and music to shed light on the important universal issue of hearing loss, and provide access to information and testing throughout the United States.”

The #HEARtheMUSIC Project runs entirely on sponsorships and donations. To GIVE THE GIFT OF HEARING click HERE.

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