News Category

Virtual Meetings Are Here To Stay

Six months ago, many of us had no clue what someone meant when they said they had a Zoom meeting to attend. Today, it’s become the newest version of Band-Aid® versus adhesive bandage. Zoom has become more than a brand name, it’s come to represent video conferencing even for those conducted with a different app.

Sertoma staff and clubs have all put Zoom to good use over the past few months as a way to stay in touch, connect with friends, and conduct business, all while staying safe during this pandemic. Training on our national Zoom account was included last year at convention for the board and specialists’ use,

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Updates from the Executive Director

In turbulent times, we often look to our places of belonging. For lots of us, Sertoma is that place, and we’re honored to be just that for so many of you.

With that in mind, I’ve been trying to let other people talk in this space, but if you’ve met me, you know how difficult it is for me to stay quiet for very long. There’s so much to talk about!

First off, so many of you are using Zoom and other virtual means to meet… I love seeing your gallery screenshots! Keep posting them and sending them in!

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When Is It Safe to Start Meeting Again?

We know that many of our clubs are eager to begin meeting again. We miss our service to others, we miss our stewardship, and perhaps most of all, we miss each other! 

As your club begins to consider returning to “normal” by resuming in-person meetings, we encourage you to consider the following:

  • Follow all meeting guidelines and laws from the Center for Disease Control, as well as state and local government and health agencies. It’s important to make sure that your club is in compliance with allrecommendations. If you are not sure what’s in effect in your area,

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Changes for Our 2020 National Convention

Monday night, the Sertoma Board of Directors held a conference call to discuss the upcoming National Convention. The health and safety of our members is our highest priority. In addition, it’s highly likely that local guidelines will not allow gatherings of our size. As a result, we have decided not to hold an in-person convention in 2020. Sertoma staff will issue refunds for all registrations to this point. Please call the InterContinental Hotel at (855) 516-1093 to cancel your reservations. 

However, we are excited to announce that we will instead be holding a Virtual Convention on Saturday,

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Volunteering from Home

Like me, I know many Sertomans are wanting to help people in this challenging time.  We want to be of SERVICE TO MANKIND but are stuck in our houses.  It can be difficult to find ways to help people while maintaining social distance.  The wonderful news is there are many ways to help people around the country and around the world, without leaving our house.

I have found twenty-nine different places with very diverse volunteer opportunities, that you as an individual or as a club can volunteer and make a difference.  There are sites that you can help a student make sound career decisions,

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Headquarters Updates in the age of COVID-19

After some correspondence with members over the past couple of days, it occurs to me that I haven’t updated everyone in quite some time! My apologies… I’ve been so head down with the day-to-day, I’ve neglected these updates! There’s a lot to get to, so let’s jump right into it!

First, I want to thank everyone who voted in Sertoma’s recent elections/ballot question. And special congratulations to Renee Ward and Cindy Markham on their elections to the National Board! The individual member dues question was approved, and that money will be extremely helpful in first, easing the operational deficit your HQ has been operating with,

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Club Meetings: Pandemic Style

These days it’s hard to watch the news or scroll through Facebook without hearing someone mention Zoom. While it’s only one of many video conferencing tools available, it seems to have become the most talked about. As we continue to keep our distance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, video conferencing is bridging the physical gap and allowing us to safely socialize in all areas of our daily lives using what had been a corporate tool. Even the Sertoma staff is using Zoom for staff meetings!

So why talk about Zoom here on the Sertoma website? Because Sertoma has a business account with Zoom that is used by the board,

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Club Learning Doesn’t Have to Stop When You Can’t Meet

During their third quarter calls to clubs, Communications Specialists found out what you – club leadership and members – wanted in regards to Sertoma training. Thanks to your feedback, we are hard at work developing new educational content that you can enjoy from a distance.

However, you don’t have to make your learning experience a solo one! Our brief video trainings (usually no longer than 10 minutes a piece) are prime material for a virtual board or club meeting. Just send out the link ahead of time so that participants can view the selected training; then, with a few prepared talking points and a moderator,

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Making Your Donations Matter During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Like most of you, I want to help my community weather the storm of the pandemic we are all living through.  But where to donate? How can I help? I want my donations to do the most good as possible. 

A quick Google search yielded some very confusing results, so I did some research to help me decide where to make my donation.  Hopefully that research can help clubs and individual Sertomans make their gifts do the most good possible.  I have broken my results down into ways to help in your local communities and a few national organizations. 

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Your Club Can Still Help Your Community

In this time of COVID-19, your clubs can still help your community…  your club can develop a virtual fundraiser.  These funds can be raised to go to your club’s sponsor fund or to support a local charity, helping people affected by COVID-19.  Even from your home, you and your club members can serve your community.  Below are a few easy online fundraising ideas you and your club members can start this today.

Who knows, if your club likes doing this during the time of social distancing.  You may want to make this type of fundraiser a regular part of your club’s fundraising plan.

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We Need Scholarship Judges – Can You Help?

Do you have a background in audiology, speech pathology, or education? We need your help!

We are currently seeking judges to help with two of our scholarship programs.

  1. Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship – is available to undergraduate college students who are deaf and hard of hearing. This $1,000 scholarship covers books, tuition and supplies.
  2. Communicative Disorders Scholarship – is available to graduate level students studying to become audiologists or speech-language pathologists. This $1,000 scholarship also covers books, tuition and supplies.

This is a great way to volunteer a short amount of your time,

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Sertoma and COVID-19

The Executive Committee of Sertoma’s National Board met last night to discuss COVID-19 as it relates to Sertoma’s upcoming National Convention.

After discussion, we will be following guidance of local, state, and national authorities.  At this time, neither the Kansas City area nor the state of Missouri has advised against gatherings of the size of our convention. We expect attendance to be under 150, which is well below every governmental agency’s threshold for guidance on canceling. As that guidance changes, however, we will surely look at postponing or canceling this event. In the absence of that guidance, we want to let you know of the actions we are taking:

  • First and most importantly,

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Changes Coming to Member Directory

Need to get a phone number for someone in your club? Curious who the club presidents are in your region? Trying to find someone you met at convention but can only remember their last name? Soon you’ll be able to answer all of these questions with the simple click of a button!

Beginning July 1, Sertoma will make its online member directory available to all members through the Member Center. The Sertoma Board passed this change in January to make communication easier between members across the country. The directory has historically been available to only club presidents, secretaries and treasurers. 

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A reflection on where we’re at, and a visit with your staff!

So last week was a big one at your Sertoma HQ. We have a second story that hasn’t been used in close to 20 years, and we decided to spread out a little bit and move some offices upstairs. It gives us a full room to use for the Hearing Aid Project and also eliminates some sharing of offices. We spent Tuesday morning dodging movers as they took boxes and desks and chairs up and down stairs and we’re about set, I think!

In preparation for the move I spent part of last weekend filling the 30 foot rolloff dumpster we had brought in.

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New Changes to Voting

In an effort to encourage more participation in Sertoma’s elections, we’ve changed the voting process this year… you’ll now be able to vote online or via paper ballots!

If you’ve been voting online and are comfortable with the process, that process will not change. However, if you’d like to vote via mail, please read on!

When you receive your Sertoma Digest in the mail in late March, you’ll find a ballot that you can tear out and send in. We’ll be counting both online and paper ballots together. Your mailed ballot must fit the following criteria:

  • Your ballot must be mailed directly to Sertoma HQ,

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It’s Our Future We’re Talking About

Before the ball dropped in Time Square to ring in the New Year, John Lennon’s iconic song “Imagine” was performed. The song asks the listeners to imagine an existence in which there is no heaven, hell, war, religion, possessions, and no need for greed or hunger. Now, I am asking you, can you imagine an existence without Sertoma?

If this was the case, in many communities, there would be no camps for deaf and hard of hearing children, programs for disadvantaged youth, hearing aid recycling programs and more. Think about the local programs your clubs have established and maintained,

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Board Meeting Outcomes

The National Board of Sertoma met January 9-10, 2020, in Kansas City, Missouri. Below are the decisions that will affect Sertoma policies. These changes will be communicated more specifically as procedures are finalized by staff.

The Board has voted to allow all members to search and view the member database.

Comment: We’ve heard for a long time that access to the member directory should be expanded, and we’ve listened! As of July 1, any member will be able to view any other member’s contact information. 

You’ll have the opportunity to opt out of having your contact information shared at any time,

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20 Recruiting Tips for 2020!

What’s on your club’s to-do list for 2020? Maybe you are thinking about launching a new community service project or giving your flagship event a complete makeover. You might be thinking about developing a robust slate of speakers for the year or seeking out new sponsors.

No matter what your plans are, there is one resolution that should be on everyone’s list: recruiting new members. This can certainly be a challenge, but making membership growth a top priority is critical to ensuring your club has a future.

Here are 20 tips to help your recruitment efforts be successful in 2020:

  1. Build a list of potential members at a club meeting.

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Changes Incoming!

Happy New Year!

There’s a sense of anticipation happening around the organization, so I figured I’d take a few paragraphs to talk some about it!

First off, we’ve got a National Board meeting coming up in just a few days! There’s so much we’ll be discussing; I’m already excited to report the outcomes to you all after the meeting. We’re working a little differently at the moment, because we’ve got so much to do. We’ve had some great volunteers working on Task Forces, and these groups have had very specific asks from the National Board on some broader topics.

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2018-19 Communicative Disorders Scholarship

Bailey Simon is no stranger to the medical field as she’s witnessed firsthand how dedicated and educated professionals can change a person’s life. In fact, her desire to become an audiologist was sparked by seeing her father survive and experience a medical miracle.

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2018-19 Sertoma Community Grant Recipient

Do you hear what I hear?

Can you recall your earliest memory? Was it hearing your mother’s voice, or feeling someone’s gentle touch rock you to sleep? Our senses help us grasp, experience and make sense of the world in countless ways, and without them, challenges can arise.

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2018-19 Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship

Growing up with hearing loss had its fill of challenges for Ryan Blobe, an all-American student-athlete and Wisconsin medical student. Thanks to Sertoma’s scholarship, he is now able to worry about one less hurdle—paying for part of his education and dream.

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The Importance of a Dues Increase

I’ve heard it said that you cannot make progress without making decisions. That holds very true in my personal life, as well as my volunteer life serving as your National Sertoma Treasurer.  

We are at a pivotal point in Sertoma with new leadership, new ideas and a Board who is actively working together to help grow Sertoma. The need for a dues increase has come up again for recommendation. These recommendations do not come easily to your National Board as there is always much discussion. Do we need a dues increase? How much for members? How much for clubs?


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Need Holiday Gift Ideas? Give the Gift of Sertoma!

The holidays are here, are you ready? If not, no need to worry, because our stores have something for everyone – your friends, family and club!

Member Merchandise

If you need stocking stuffers or creative gift ideas, Sertoma Café Press has a full-line of Sertoma products and gear ranging from: t-shirts, bags, keychains, cups, sports equipment and more. Some of these made to order items come in different colors, and we even have a unique ‘Proud to Be a Sertoman’ design available. It’s really awesome, you do NOT want to miss this!

Ready to explore and order?

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Are You Receiving the Emails You Need?

Let’s talk about whitelists.

Communication is the best way to build strong relationships—the two-way kind that provides all parties with the opportunity to share and the opportunity to listen.

Did you know the same is true with email? Emails can be sent to any Sertoman with an email address on file. Your email IS on file, you say? You aren’t getting the Sertoma News? Say it ain’t so! Let’s look at one of the reasons emails from Sertoma may not be coming through.

Email service providers try hard to protect their customers by building spam filters and actively searching for junk mail.

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Become a Community Grant Judge

We are currently seeking five hearing health professionals to judge our 2019-2020 Community Grants!

All speech-language pathologists and audiologists are strongly encouraged to apply for this wonderful Sertoma volunteer opportunity. Your time and participation truly make an impact.

If you are interested in learning more about the difference our Adopt-An-Agency program and community grants make, please click here.

Ready to take the next step!? Send an email to saying that you would like to become a community grant judge. Additional information and a judging sheet will then be provided.

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After a Season of Regional Conventions… What’s Next?

Well, I’m back!

I’ve been using this space to sort of chronicle the year, and to also communicate what’s happening. This entry is no different, except that I’ve had the awesome experience of getting to meet around 300 Sertomans individually, and have now seen six regional conventions in action! For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to visit some other regions, I wanted to share the takeaways that I had from each of them:

  • Southeastern/Caribbean: The history in your region is amazing! I loved being able to share in the traditions you all honor and hear about some of the fantastic events y’all are doing: dragon boat races,

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Become an Early Bird!

Service to Mankind. These are the words that make our Sertoma name powerful as it encapsulates what our 300+ clubs do for their communities across North America. Our goal is to serve and pave the way for generations to come, and our Annual Fund allows us to expand our hearing health mission and to do so at the national level.

The Annual Fund helps Sertoma clubs across the country serve their communities by providing effective and educational programs.

This is accomplished through programs such as SAFEEars!®,

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Let’s talk about the Annual Fund..and other things!

Happy Halloween! I’m almost through with visiting (almost) all of the Regional Conventions, with Allegheny/Canada coming up this weekend, and this is a great time to talk about some of the questions I’ve been getting.

But first, a brief interlude — Halloween is one of the MAJOR holidays in my family, as it is for any family with trick or treat aged kids. As such, I need to tell you about the costumes that will be walking out of my house on Thursday night. First, my older son has selected an inflatable “alien abduction” costume, which is weird in itself.

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Has Your Contact Information Changed?

The leaves are starting to change into the deep colors of autumn. The outside temperatures are sliding lower on the gauge. It’s the perfect time to throw open the windows and do some major fall cleaning. Who doesn’t feel better after putting away all the clutter or sweeping out the dirt?

Well, here at Sertoma, we feel the same way! So, up go the windows and here come the brooms and dusters. We are getting down to the business of some deep information cleaning. It’s time to deep clean our database!

Wait. What? Data? Yes, data.

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You Make a Difference. Let’s Talk About It!

My Sertoma friends,

I was asked to write this note to provide some thoughts and actions that my club and I have taken to better market and publicize Sertoma in our county, city and state. I hope that my personal experience and insight can help you and your club build a stronger presence in your community.

I do not simply accept hearing, “Sertoma is the best-kept secret.” During my travels as your president in 2016-17, I saw all of the wonderful work you do in your communities. I am proud of it, and I know you are too.

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IRS Deadlines and Forms. Here’s What You Need to Know!

Did you know that your club is required to file a form 990 with the IRS each year? The IRS has three versions, and the form that you will use is based upon your club’s gross income.

990 Filing Thresholds
  • Gross Income < $50,000   990-N
  • Gross Income < $200,000 and Gross Assets < $500,000   990-EZ
  • Gross Income $200,000 and Gross Assets $500,000   990

For the majority of clubs (if your fiscal year begins July 1) then your filing is due November 15. Your club’s deadline ultimately depends on your fiscal year.

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A Proud Partnership

Service is in our name. Service to others. Service to our communities. I grew up in a home built on service to friends, neighbors, strangers or anyone who might need a little boost. Through Boy Scouts, our church, etc., we lived a much fuller life through volunteerism. I believe that volunteerism is the price we pay for the space we occupy!

We tried to make somebody’s day or life a bit better as often as we could. At a young age, I discovered that I could make a difference for others, and I felt better because of it!

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You Must Know the Difference You Make for Students!

Your generous donations to Sertoma’s Annual Fund provide hardworking students with new opportunities and resources all over the country.

Why is the Annual Fund important? It turns the dreams of deserving students into a reality. Below are just a few of the remarkable stories that you have created.

“By awarding me with Sertoma’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing scholarship, you have lightened my financial burden, which allows me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning. Your generosity has inspired me to help others and to give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.” –Kiefer

“I plan to become an audiologist.

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Is Your Event Covered?

Does your club have an event coming up? To keep you and your attendees protected, be sure to check out the newest updates to Sertoma’s insurance manual.

Please remember that your event is not covered unless properly reported to the insurance company 30 days in advance. If your club is hosting an event with over 2,500 attendees, be sure to review the updated program and forms here.

If you have questions about Sertoma’s insurance manual or your event, please contact Terri McClaskey, our Account Executive at Lockton Companies. She can be reached directly at 816.960.9241.

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Join the Sertoma Board!

Were you born to be a leader? Are you driven and determined to build a stronger future for Sertoma? If the answer is yes, then we want you to join our Sertoma team.

The Sertoma Board of Directors are seeking candidates for Director at Large (three-year term) and Junior Vice President. To apply, please send in a bio and high resolution electronic photo to Aaron Ensminger at

If you would like to be featured in the winter Sertoman magazine, please submit your bio and photo to Aaron. In order to be included on the ballot,

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Change is Good!

As a new Mission Specialist, I’m thankful for this opportunity to highlight a few of my favorite upgrades to our Sertoma Annual Fund. When I first learned that there were changes to the Annual Fund donation levels my initial reaction was, ‘Oh no, more changes?’ I was pleasantly surprised, however, to learn that the changes included a few new affordable levels of monetary giving as well as recognition for giving on a larger level including hosting a CELEBRATE SOUND® event. 

First, let me talk about the new Sustaining Member level.  Think of a membership donation to your local non-profit TV or radio station during their annual pledge drive,

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Welcome to Sertoma, Brandi!

Brandi McGrath Kong is Sertoma’s newest team member and Member Services Manager!

In this membership focused position, she will be responsible for developing strategic initiatives and programs focused on membership recruitment, retention, engagement, club building and more. In addition, she will serve as the primary liaison to the Training Specialists.

In total, Brandi brings 15 years of nonprofit management experience, with an emphasis in membership and communications to our organization.

Before beginning her Sertoma journey, she studied public relations at the University of Central Missouri, and spent nearly ten years working at the National Auctioneers Association (NAA).

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Board Actions, August 2019

At their August 2019 meeting, the Sertoma Board of Directors took the following actions:

  • Cheryl Cherny was approved as the Sertoma representative on the Hearing Charities of America Board.
    • Discussion: The HCOA Board has one member designated as the Sertoma Representative, to serve as a liaison between the two organizations. While there are other Sertomans on HCOA’s board, Ms. Cherny will serve as the official Sertoma representative this year.
  • The Board amended the Policy Statements, Article III, Section C, Paragraph 5 to read: Any member removed by the Board of Directors or members shall be ineligible for holding a National office for a period of 10 years from date of removal.

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Happy New Year!

It’s a new year here at Sertoma, and I’d wager I’m more excited than anyone in Sertoma about 2019-20. Heck, the next few weeks are going to be exciting ones!

Let’s start with today: I’m writing this from a plane on my way to another organization’s conference, where I’ve got a full day of meetings with fundraising professionals who will be helping us develop training modules on fundraising events and donor psychology that you can use in your clubs.

In just a few short weeks, your Sertoma Board of Directors will be in Kansas City for my first planning meeting.

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Annual Fund Changes

We are excited about the changes the Board has made to the 2019-2020 Annual Fund recognition levels!  With the exception of the Fellow Level change last year, there have been no changes since the 1960s.  This means that the 100% club gift of $25 per member given in the 1960s is now equivalent to $200 today.

One of the biggest changes you may notice is that a new recognition level of $250 called the Patron level has been added. This level is now available to both clubs and individuals. For individuals, the gift giving level ranges between $250 and $499,

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New Officers

It’s a new year in Sertoma, which means we have new officers. View the full list below! To contact your national leaders or fellow volunteers, please use our member directory located here.

2019-2020 National Officers

President:  John Kelly, Lillington, North Carolina
President Elect:  Joy Newman, Tucson, Arizona
Senior Vice President:  Darryl Ching, Honolulu, Hawaii
Junior Vice President:  Gretchen Nielsen, Wichita Falls, Texas
Treasurer:  Bea Gabany, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Secretary:  Aaron Ensminger, Kansas City, Missouri

Directors at Large

Caleb Kershaw, Rembert, South Carolina
Susan Love, Springfield, Missouri
Walter “Chuck” Wilson,

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Four Club Awards are Available

Is your club in good standing? Have you encouraged your community to take an interest in Sertoma’s programs or hearing health? If so, there’s a good chance your club could be eligible for one or more of Sertoma’s prestigious club awards.

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Introductions and Exciting Times!

Good evening! (At least, it’s evening as I write this!) After a little over a month getting to know the staff, the members who were at convention, and learning as much as I can about Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America, I’d like to take a minute to officially say hello and tell you something about myself!

First, professionally: I’m coming to you most recently from the National Auctioneers Association, where I served as Director of Education for six years. It was a fantastic experience with a great organization! NAA is a membership based professional organization that provides education,

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2019 Convention Recap

Convention had no shortage of energy, passion or enthusiasm this year! The future of the organization is brighter than ever as we continue working on the implementation of Vision 2020.

Thank you to everyone who traveled and participated this year. We hope to see your smiling faces again soon. For a quick recap of important news and announcements, please see below.

Award Winners

(* indicates national winner)

Sertoman of the Year
Doug Suereth – Allegheny Canada
*Donald Bartelmay – Atlantic Coast
Sara Krumme – Great Lakes
Douglas English – Great Plains
Stephanie Bunten – Heart of America
Patricia ‘Pat’ White – Mountain West
Bill Clark – Southeastern/Caribbean

Service to Mankind
Mickey Minnich – Allegheny Canada
Jean Tulli – Atlantic Coast
Marci Harbage – Great Lakes
Craig McMillan – Great Plains
Jerry Hudgins – Heart of America
Sister Libby Fernandez – Mountain West
*Wade Thomas – Southeastern/Caribbean

New Leadership Introductions

National Board
President: John Kelly,

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Welcome to Sertoma!

We are excited to announce that Aaron Ensminger will be the new Executive Director of Sertoma Inc., and Hearing Charities of America (HCOA). Aaron is a proud native of Kansas City, Missouri, and will begin his Sertoma journey and new role on Monday, April 15, 2019.

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Resolution Committee’s Update

Adopted by the Sertoma Board on February 7, 2019

At the February Board meeting held by a conference call, the Resolution Committee reported their recommendations to the full Board.  The Board adopted the recommendations of the committee.  Of the six resolutions presented prior to the Resolution Committee meeting, the following items came from members and clubs during the Region meetings in the fall of 2018.

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Request Your Club Logo!

Sertoma. Just saying the name of our wonderful organization brings up a plethora of feelings. Pride felt by individual members—Sertomans to their core; a sense of celebration by clubs as they review the successful projects completed within their communities; headquarters staff who feel honored each day to be an integral part of such a worthwhile organization.

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Online Member Management Update

As everyone has probably read by now, a new process is in place for club officers to use for club member management, and for our national volunteers to request information for their assigned areas. After more than a year of working with the developer of the 10-year-old custom module, it was clear that this change to the previous member management module and process was necessary…

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Please Help Us Find Judges!

Sertoma and Hearing Charities of America (HCOA) strives to improve the quality of life for those impacted by hearing loss.  Sertoma’s Adopt-an-Agency program is one way it does so, because it is a network of hearing health organizations that share the same mission and goals.

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Spread the Gift of Sound!

What do you see when you look out your window or step through your door? Is it so familiar that beauty and adventure no longer catch your attention? Is opportunity waiting, yet going unrecognized?

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Find a Club and Take a Selfie!

Whether the goal is growing membership, raising funds for service-related endeavors, marketing an event, or finding new connections within your local community, it has become clear in recent years that a solid web presence is vital. This is true for Sertoma at the national level, the club level, and even at the member level.

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Member Management Module Update

Sertoma club officers and national volunteers,

Previously, we shared with you that the incremental progress of normal computer upgrades and updates were affecting Sertoma’s 10-year-old custom member management module. We worked with the developers at Blackbaud for more than a year on this project…

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Club Award Winners

We’d like to congratulate all of the clubs who applied, qualified and received awards. Fantastic work! Join us in congratulating the following winners.

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The Beginning of Vision 2020

There’s a lot of rumor and speculation about the new Vision 2020 strategy. Some of it is true, some of it is not. The best way to know the truth is to read what comes directly from Sertoma, or even better, pick up the phone or send an email to any Board member. But in 40 words or less, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

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The Future of Sertoma

Do you need help recruiting new members or volunteers? Do you have a request from the IRS or a donor? Do you want training? Do you have a problem with a member? Most clubs face these common questions.

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Spring Solicitation Mail Correction

Attention clubs and treasurers,

We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication that has recently occurred. The spring club solicitation letters that were mailed out in late March were meant for the clubs who have NOT given within the last few years.

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Supporting Our Students and Communities

The Annual Fund supports Sertoma’s hearing health mission and heritage.  Each year, Sertoma Clubs and individual members raise funds from coast to coast to continue our mission of improving the quality of life today for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.

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Don’t Forget to Update Your Browser!

For anyone who  uses a computer,  tablet, or smart phone, it is no surprise that change is a constant occurrence. Security changes are probably one of the most important parts that affect our favorite programs, apps, websites, and browsers. Some changes occur without notice, but other changes are not so stealthy.

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2016-2017 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship

When Miranda Scott was 18 months old, her parents found out she was deaf. Although she cannot hear in her right ear, with a hearing aid, she can hear around 50% of sound in her left.

For now, Miranda focuses on enjoying the sounds she can hear, as audiologists believe she will eventually become deaf in both ears.

Miranda is currently attending the University of North Florida, and with the help of Sertoma’s scholarship is obtaining a degree in Psychology. She is expected to graduate in May of 2021 and intends to use her education and skills for the greater good.

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Helping Our Heroes Hear

If you could give an invaluable gift to someone who puts their life on the line for you every day, what would it be?

The Audiology Department at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMED) took some time to research the needs of local law enforcement officers in their community. The department soon realized that the special gift they could provide was enhanced communication through customized radio ear molds.

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The Dues Debate

Most of us would probably like to have dues remain where they are, but then again, most of us would probably prefer to not make a car payment or take a trip to the grocery store. Sadly, during the past decade cost increases have continued to add up while our membership has not. The result is growing expenses and shrinking revenues.

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How to Grow New Relationships

One of the best ways to create new relationships and spark change is by introducing Sertoma’s programs to the individuals in your community. By sharing what we do, you can better connect with others and engage them in our mission to make a difference.

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Book Your Hotel Room Early for Convention

Sertoma’s National Convention will be held at the Kauffman Foundation February 1-3, 2018. The host hotel will be the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza located on East 45th Street in Kansas City, Missouri 64111. Are you ready to book your room early at a discounted rate of $99?

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Building Bridges and Increasing Growth

Building bridges defines the work we need to secure the future of Sertoma. Our future requires us to build bridges in new communities. We must engage people and organizations in new ways to develop the volunteers, donors and members to expand our hearing health mission. Our future requires us to build a bridge to our current members and clubs, so that we can support their work to develop the human and financial resources needed to expand their local sponsorships. This is the work we have undertaken in our Vision 2020 Plan.

To see that happen, there is one more bridge we must build.

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Hear Us Out – Here’s Why You Need CELEBRATE SOUND!

Want to be a part of an amazing national fund and awareness-raising event that helps promote hearing health in our communities? Join Sertoma in giving the gift of sound. Host a CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence® event today!

CELEBRATE SOUND is a turnkey fundraising project that allows your community to come together to raise funds and awareness for your organization and Sertoma. With more than 50 million people living with hearing loss, it is critical to educate our communities on issues like noise-induced hearing loss.

When you partner with Sertoma,

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Make Some Noise for Hearing Health!

Did you know that individuals with healthy hearing are less likely to develop or experience heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and social isolation? Hearing plays a significant role in affecting a person’s mood, overall well-being and everyday life. It is arguably one of the body’s most important senses!

Approximately 52 million Americans have hearing loss, and this staggering number is increasing quickly. In the world, it is estimated that around 360 million men, women and children are affected, and unfortunately, hearing loss is permanent.

What will you do during May Better Hearing and Speech Month to help bring attention to the important issue of hearing health?

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Nola’s Sertoma Story

Nola Pollman’s grandson, Isaac, received bilateral cochlear implants simultaneously when he was 13 months old. He was the 8th person in the world to have this surgery.

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2017 Convention Follow Up

It was great seeing everyone at Convention this year. For those who missed out, don’t worry, we’ll catch you up on a few key details!  Find out who joined the Board(s) and won some of the year’s biggest awards.

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Sertoma Scholarships Available

Each year, Sertoma provides 100 scholarships through our Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disorders scholarships. These scholarships aid students who are continuing their education, and because of the financial support of donors like you, we are able to continue our vision of creating communities of change.

The Communicative Disorders scholarship is open to all full-time audiology or speech-language pathology graduate students in the United States. March 31 is the deadline for all Communicative Disorders scholarship applications, and each scholarship is worth $1,000. Applicants may reapply each year as long as they meet the scholarship requirements. Click here to learn more about the Communicative Disorders scholarship.

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International Week of Service

Join us for the International Week of Service on March 25-31; a fantastic partnership opportunity that brings service clubs together to better their communities! Simply invite members from another service club organization to take part in your club’s pre-existing event that week, or team up and host an event together!

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Sertoma Elections 2017

Sertoma elections will be held in March to determine the roles of Sertoma Vice President and Director at Large.  Online member voting will be available March 31 – April 9. Chapter voting ballots will be mailed out February 21, and must be postmarked on or before April 3.

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2015-16 Deaf and Hard of Hearing Scholarship Recipient

Her dream was to become an actress; to thrive and glow in the bright dazzling city of New York. But after experiencing difficulties with her hearing loss in the industry,  she decided to pursue a new dream with a little help from Sertoma.

Douglas was born with normal hearing, but began to lose hers in her early 20’s. She was diagnosed with otosclerosis induced hearing loss, and despite two left ear surgeries and hearing aids, communication was still difficult… especially on stage.

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The Incredible Impact of the Annual Fund

Have you ever wondered what the Annual Fund money does? It allows our National Affiliates to make a positive impact on daily basis. Without your support to the Annual Fund, this would not be possible.

Over the past decade, our Adopt-An-Agency National Affiliates have received hundreds of dollars to continue and improve hearing health in their community.

Did you know that Sertoma Headquarters gave out over $100,000 in Community Grants to 20 National Affiliates last year? Sertoma has given out over one million dollars in Community Grants over the last decade, and it is through your donation to the Annual Fund that you continue the mission of Sertoma throughout communities across the country.

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2017 Club Development Workshops

The Secret to Recruiting and Retaining Members, Volunteers and Donors

It’s not a secret, really. All that is involved is understanding three simple principles, and these will allow you to overcome the barriers to people’s time and money.

Why – People want to know the difference their time and money
will make – it has to be important to them. So, the difference that
your club makes in the community has to be clear, meaningful
and measureable.

Engaging Communication – People spend a lot of time today
screening out communication.

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Benefits of the Adopt-an-Agency Program

The Adopt-An-Agency program establishes a relationship between Sertoma and a nonprofit hearing and speech facility. It is a practical way for a club to help a local organization and promote Sertoma’s national mission

Sertoma’s partnership with these agencies, known as National Affiliates, expands awareness in the community to the pervasiveness of communicative disorders and the resulting impact on the lives of individuals and their families.

Sertoma Affiliates must be a 501(C)3 or tax status equivalent, including schools or school districts or departments, colleges or universities that provide direct services, education or research related to helping those with communicative disorders.

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2016-2017 Sertoma News and Events

Sertoma Board Seeking New Positions
The Sertoma Board is currently seeking a Treasurer,  Jr. Vice President and Director at Large for the 2017-2018 year.

All applications and position related questions will need to be emailed to the Executive Director, Steven Murphy, by Nov. 30 at

The treasurer position will be appointed for a two-year term, and will have the ability to be reappointed for one successive term. Please see the qualifications below.

Treasurer Qualifications
The appointee must be a member of  Sertoma in good standing and has demonstrated experience and skills related to reading and understanding,

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Building Awareness One Gift at a Time

The Annual Fund creates opportunities for Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Communicative Disorders students by providing financial assistance through scholarships. The Annual Fund also provides affiliates of the Adopt-An-Agency program with the opportunity to attend professional conferences through Sertoma’s Professional Education Grant.

Your contribution to the Annual Fund allows our scholarship recipients and affiliates to continue their education and the work necessary to enhance communities nationwide.

If your club plans on being a 100% Early Bird Club, the cost is $25 per person, and this payment must be received by December 1st to qualify. Please submit your current club roster with the donation.

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Three Simple Ways to Support the Hearing Aid Project

Awareness of the Hearing Aid Project is growing across the nation, and you or your club can join our community efforts through: Getting, Giving and Helping.

Get– refer low income individuals in your area to the project who are in need of hearing aids. We will help connect them with their state resources first, and then to the Hearing Aid Project if their local resources are unable to help.

Give– donate hearing aids or establish hearing aid collection centers in your community

Help– carry out an online personal fundraiser, recruit audiologists to participate, and/or host a CELEBRATE SOUND event to benefit the project

Email and let us help you or your club get involved in the National Hearing Aid Project!

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Club Tax and Legal Information

Each year, every club must report on its gross revenues raised by filing a Form 990 with the IRS. If the form is not filed, the club will lose its 501(c)(3) status as a charity and will no longer be able to legally raise revenue. One of three variations on the form must be used, depending on how much money the club raised during the year. Those forms are as follows:

  • Form 990, for clubs with gross revenues raised in excess of $200,000
  • Form 990-EZ, for clubs with gross revenues raised between $50,000 and $200,000
  • Form 990-N,

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Elizabeth’s Story

Elizabeth Quinley, a three-time award winner of Sertoma’s Hard of Hearing or Deaf scholarship, spoke about her personal hearing health journey at Sertoma’s National Convention in April 2016. The scholarships Quinley received through Sertoma allowed her to pursue her dream of audiology, and inspired her to join the organization to continue giving back. Watch her story!

If you’d like to make a contribution to Sertoma’s Annual Fund and assist in helping students just like Elizabeth, please donate now!

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2015-2016 Club Award Winners

We’d like to congratulate all of the Sertoma Clubs who qualified and received club awards this year. Nice job! If you didn’t win this year, you can still apply and become a recipient in 2016-2017.

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How to Support the National Hearing Aid Project

The mission of the National Hearing Aid Project is to provide access to hearing aids and related hearing health services to those that otherwise could not afford them. By becoming a collection center, establishing collection centers in your community, or doing an online fundraiser, your club can help us fulfill this mission.

Become a Collection Center:
Collected hearings aids of any age or condition will go directly to our Hearing Aid Bank where they will be put into an inventory for use by audiologists who have agreed to provide clinical services to recipients of the project. Sertoma headquarters can supply your clubs with brochures that give information about how to donate aids to us,

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New Internal Marketing Employee at Sertoma

Sertoma Inc. is very excited to announce that it has added a new addition to the office. Chris Stibbs, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, has stepped in as the new Mission Development Officer of Internal Marketing.

Chris grew up in Omaha, but attended undergraduate school at Rockhurst University. During his time at Rockhurst, Chris worked as a Women’s Advocate at Newhouse Shelter, a local domestic violence shelter in Kansas City. He also served as a Program Leader for Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas/Northwest Missouri, as well as a development intern for the PKD Foundation. Chris currently serves as a Board Member for Foundation4 Domestic Violence Prevention and as a member of the New Leaders Council for Newhouse.

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Sertoma Scholar Joins Organization to Give Back

Elizabeth Quinley, a 21-year-old, bright eyed scholar from Visalia, California, moved to Springfield, Missouri, to pursue her dream of helping others, and to achieve a higher education.

One of the biggest reasons Quinley moved to Springfield was because she had been selected to receive several scholarships, including three very special scholarships from Sertoma.

When Quinley was three-years-old, she was diagnosed with bilateral moderate mix hearing loss, and attended speech therapy shortly after.  At the age of four, she was provided with her first set of hearing aids, which allowed her to communicate and hear for the first time.

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How to Set up a Hearing Aid Collection Center

Is your Sertoma Club looking to become a part of the National Hearing Aid Project? If so, your club can participate with a simple grassroots activity that will help us collect hearing aids of any age or condition to be refurbished and given to eligible recipients of the Hearing Aid Project.

The mission of this project is to provide access to hearing aids and related hearing health services to those that otherwise could not afford them. Setting up collection centers across the country will ensure hearing aids no longer being used will not go to waste, and can continue to improve someone’s quality of life.

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Hearing Aid Collection Centers

We’d like to express our appreciation to the individuals that have donated recycled hearing aids, and the clubs that have set up collection centers for the Hearing Aid Project.  These gifts directly help those in need of a hearing aid, or provide the necessary parts to fix an aid that someone relies on every day.  Thank you for helping us share the joy of hearing!

To learn how easy it is to donate a hearing aid, please visit:

Thank you to the following Sertoma Clubs that have helped us establish collection centers across the country:

Marion County Sertoma Club

Honolulu Sertoma Club

Kansas City Sertoma Club

The Sertoma Club of Bradenton,

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2016 Sertoma Candidate Forum

Recording of the 2016 Sertoma Candidate Forum that took place on February 9, 2016. Sertoma members were invited to join us for a town hall style discussion that provided every member with the opportunity to hear the candidates for the Sertoma National Board answer the questions that mattered most to you.

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Sertoma Scholarship Winner Hears His True Calling

As Jackson Maddox showcased his acting skills at Keokuk High School in Keokuk, Iowa, his nervous butterflies began to flutter rapidly. Stage fright, and opening night jitters tend to be relatively common and natural feelings for performers.

Ideally, all performers want to see their long hours of preparation and hard work shine through on show night. Jackson, despite his significant hearing loss, and nerves, was always determined to do his absolute best on stage regardless of the circumstances.

His ambitious personality, and determination, eventually became the biggest reasons why Jackson Maddox was selected to receive the Hard of Hearing Deaf Scholarship from Sertoma in 2012-2013.

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What’s Next for Service Clubs?

I had the great pleasure of attending the Service Clubs Leaders Convention (SCLC) in Biloxi, Mississippi in November. Sertoma President Debby Larsen, Executive Director Steve Murphy and I were attendees. Sertoma and Ambucs were hosting this event and so staff in attendance included Holly Walls, Nick Magana and Bridget Almond. Sixty leaders from service clubs throughout the world were in attendance. These organizations represented over 4 million volunteers. I congratulate Steve and staff for a well-organized convention, we were busy from morning to night, learning and sharing ideas on how to more efficiently manage our organizations and make them more effective,

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Tale of Two Clubs

It was the best of times, and the worst of times. Or so it would have seemed to a casual observer at the Service Clubs Leaders Conference this past week.

There were the tales of clubs struggling with aging members, slipping engagement, and a lack of interest in clubs by many, including the most commonly discussed group, “Millennials.” Yet there were also discussions of new clubs flourishing in unexpected ways: younger people are engaging, and clubs are becoming a vital force in the life of their communities and their members.

How is it that we have such divergent tales of service clubs?

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I’m Proud to Be a Sertoman

At the 2015 annual Convention, we asked our members to share their Sertoma stories. The people they’ve helped, relationships they’ve made, and the lives they’ve changed. The result was two days of inspirational storytelling and a great many tears of joy.

When you help others, your life is affected as well. Through these stories our members painted of picture of why they are proud to be a Sertoman.

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#GivingTuesday 2015 is just around the corner, and Sertoma, Inc. is participating at the national level with a call to support the Annual Fund. With this first year of participation in #GivingTuesday, we are testing the waters and will share what we learn about running a #GivingTuesday campaign with our clubs. Our hope is that clubs will become involved with future #GivingTuesday events and will use their own #GivingTuesday campaigns as a way to tell their stories and more deeply connect with their communities, while also raising funds and awareness about their work.

We will be using the hashtag #SertomaListens for our Annual Fund campaign.

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I Can Make a Difference

Ask a Sertoman to share their most rewarding experience as a member of our organization and get this response: Just one story? As if we could stop at one.

At the 2015 annual Convention, we asked our members to share their Sertoma stories. The people they’ve helped, relationships they’ve made, and the lives they’ve changed. The result was two days of inspirational storytelling and a great many tears of joy.

Get a glimpse of just a few of these stories, and watch for many more to come.

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Service to Mankind & Sertoman of the Year

As we approach the fourth quarter of Sertoma it is time to celebrate with those in your club and community who have distinguished themselves in service to others. In other words, it is time to select a club Service to Mankind recipient and Sertoman of the Year. What better way to recognize the accomplishments of others by participating in this annual recognition process.

If you haven’t started, appoint a committee and seek out nominations from your area for those worthy of receiving your club’s Service to Mankind Award. You can find nominations for the award from your community.

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Little Acts Lead to Big Impact

Samantha Freer – a proud Sertoman and member of P.L.A.Y. Sertoma Club of Joplin – saw the Hearing Aid Donation project as an opportunity to honor her grandpa, Sam McCoun, a selfless individual who always wanted to help others. Samantha shared that when she asked her grandma for her grandpa’s hearing aid to recycle, her grandma cried said that would be wonderful and grandpa would think that would be great. I know without a doubt he is super happy to be helping someone, even after his passing.

AND because Samantha shared her story with the nursing home, they have requested a Hearing Aid Donation display and brochures to help collect used hearing aids.

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