For 'Little Listeners': Away Game Tailgate kicks off new program

Guest host Heath Shuler and Hearing and Speech Foundation founder John Berry address the crowd at the Away Game Tailgate Party at halftime.

Photo by Janice Hall

Guest host Heath Shuler and Hearing and Speech Foundation founder John Berry address the crowd at the Away Game Tailgate Party at halftime.

The Hearing and Speech Foundation chose halftime of the Tennessee vs. Florida football game to set their sights on their next ambitious goal.

Helping “Little Listeners” gain the gift of hearing.

Tennessee fans turned out Sept. 17 to support the Hearing and Speech Foundation while cheering on their Vols during the Fifth Annual Away Game Tailgate Party.

Close to 200 came and helped raise more than $25,000 during the event that featured special guest host Heath Shuler in the East Club Skybox at Neyland Stadium, said Amanda Womac, executive director of the Hearing and Speech Foundation.

An important announcement came during halftime. “One of the exciting things is we announced the launch of our Little Listeners Scholarship Fund,” said Womac. “The money raised for that fund will go to support auditory training for children.”

Womac said all the proceeds from the silent auction went to the launch of that new fund, which was approximately $7,600. “Our goal was $5,000, so we exceeded our goal in raising funds for the silent auction,” she said. “In ticket sales we sold over 200 tickets. Total funds raised, including the auction was around $25,000.

Funds will also be used to support ongoing hearing services for low income individuals in East Tennessee and the foundation’s ongoing work to provide the gift of sound, Womac said.

“The crowd was great. People were decked out in orange and white to support the Vols, and there were smiles all round. There were lots of familiar faces and lots of new faces. We were excited to see our continuing supporters and some new supporters,” Womac said. “We really appreciate Heath Shuler being the special guest host and we want to give a big thanks to all our sponsors for the event.”

Sponsors included Downtown Grill and Brewery who provided beer from Woodruff Brewing Co and a monetary donation, Roma Renfro, Blount Hearing and Speech Services, Alcoa, Inc., The Flower Pot, Hickory Construction, BB&T, Kathy Bennett, Ingram and Overholt and Bean and Duncan Boat Dock, Blount Today, WBIR and Charter Media.

For more information on the Hearing and Speech Foundation, on the web visit www.Hsfweb.org.

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