Friday, July 13th was a dark and stormy night, not fit for man nor beast. Well, it didn’t start out that way. The Madison Chapter’s social and hearing awareness night at the Madison Mallards minor league game was a success as far as our goal of informing the public about hearing loss went.
We set up our resource table inside the gate and handed out hearing loss literature to the fans as they came in. We distributed information about HLAA, our chapter, hearing aids, and hearing loops. We offered those with hearing aids a pack of hearing aid batteries donated by Rayovac. “Super Hearing Man”, Emil Quast, who is also Wisconsin’s state chapter coordinator, worked the crowd as they came in. We passed out lots of literature and batteries. Peggy Troller and Jack Spear handed out information along with Linda Conlon and I.
With members of HLAA Madison working together, all who entered the ballpark had contact with us. There was no excuse for someone with hearing aids not to get some free batteries and information about HLAA. It was all going fine. We took our seats for the game. Super Hearing Man threw out the first pitch and the game began. We did notice those menacing, dark clouds coming in from the west but thought maybe they would pass us by.
In the second inning, the rains came. Boy, did they come. Heavy, driving rain and lightning got us all soaked. Eventually, the Mallards called the game. At first, we perched under the roof of the stands but even there the wind drove the rain to our protective perches. The smart ones, who anticipated the coming storm, had umbrellas and rain gear. The rest of us did not and continued to get soaked as we made our way to the parking lot to leave for home.
The Mallards have graciously offered us a “do-over” of the event. We can reschedule for a later game this season, offer individuals vouchers for a future game, or receive a credit towards a game next year. We are currently considering the options.
The game was both a member social and a wonderful chance to interact with the public about hearing loss. The chapter sold 29 tickets to the event in advance. We were able to talk to many people and, hopefully, raise awareness in the general population. We accomplished those goals, thanks to the energy and support of chapter members. Hey, a little rain isn’t going to stop us from getting out the word about hearing loss and HLAA. And it certainly didn’t stop us from having some fun doing it. We definitely plan to do this again, only without the rain storm!
Submitted by Jerry Lapidikas, Chapter Leader and HLAA-WI President