Nearly 50 Years Standing Behind HEAR Wisconsin's Mission

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Mary York is a dedicated long-time supporter of HEAR Wisconsin.  She served as the Board President twice during her 40 years on the  HEAR Wisconsin Board of Directors and has given generously over the years. This is her story.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself – what would you like our readers to know?
My husband, Merrill York and I have been married for 51 years. Together we raised three children who have provided us with 11 grandchildren. We are blessed that they all live nearby, and we enjoy every minute with them. I love to travel and enjoy gardening, nature, needlepoint and volunteering. Basically, my interests are my faith, my family and being a community volunteer.

What got you interested in HEAR Wisconsin – how did you first connect?
My involvement with HEAR Wisconsin began when my daughter, Susan, was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss at ten months of age. We came three times per week for oral therapy throughout our daughter’s young life, through grade eight. (There were no play groups or speech therapy opportunities then). In the mid to late-1970s, I was invited to join the board of directors and I remained on the board for 40 years, twice as president.

What does the HEAR Wisconsin mission mean to you?
Hearing loss is invisible. HEAR Wisconsin is critical in helping young children obtain a great start to learning language (oral or sign) and to assimilate into the world. As I grew older, I saw firsthand how hearing loss also affects adults. The support services, equipment, and interpreter services enrich adult lives and help enhance their abilities.

What inspires you to give?
HEAR Wisconsin gave my daughter a chance to become a well-adjusted woman in society – a wife, a mother, and an inspiration. It also provided services for my aging father. This organization contributes to and enhances lives in our community. The caring and motivated staff are wonderful.