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Speech And Hearing Celebrates 50 Years Of Service

© Leesburg Today - 05/28/2015

During a reception Wednesday night, Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center Director Charlotte Fosque listed a few things that happened in 1964: ""The Sound of Music"" was the number one movie, ""Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"" was created, Hasbro unveiled its first G.I. Joe, and the Junior Woman's Club of Loudoun founded the speech and hearing center.

""They saw a need in our community for hearing and testing aids,"" Fosque said to 30 people gathered at the organization's Lansdowne office. ""It was just part-time services then. Now we have a clinic with 12 full-time employees.""

Fosque said the nonprofit provided 5,300 services to clients last year, including help to 200 Loudoun County students. It also provided 18 hearing aids for free.

The center combines discounted or subsidized services of audiology, speech therapy and occupational therapy for people with speech, language, hearing, developmental, and motor skill challenges.

Yoly Valerino was in attendance to speak about her 10-plus years of receiving services from the nonprofit, and said she's been grateful for how employees treat every patient.

""They change the lives of everybody who walks through their door,"" Valerino said.

A mother of two children who have received hearing and speech help for two years, Jen Mahoney said her kids thought coming to the center was the ""best playdate they've ever been on."" She said the audiologists and therapists took the time to speak to her children's teachers about learning more related to her children.

""I can't think of better experience with any practice,"" Mahoney said.

The Loudoun-based nonprofit 100 Women Strong joined the anniversary celebration and donated two audiometers, one of which is portable, to the organization.

""That will allow us to go out in the community and provide services,"" Fosque said.

Later this fall, the center will hold its annual Cinderella Tea Party at the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, featuring a princess ballet performed by the Warrenton Ballet Company.

For more information, go to speechhearing.org.

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