Last week, while attending the Missouri Academy of Audiology (MAA) Scope of Practice convention in St. Louis, MO, Francis Kuk of Widex said something that I certainly was not expecting to hear. As an invited speaker to MAA, Dr. Kuk addressed several topics including the management of low-frequency hearing loss as well as tinnitus management. Both presentations were extremely informative and entertaining, however, it is what he said during lunch to all the MAA attendees that made my jaw drop. Removing his Widex hat for just a moment and replacing it with his Board-Member-of-the-American-Academy-of-Audiology-Foundation (AAAF) hat, Dr. Kuk briefly explained how the AAAF promotes philanthropy in support of research, education, and public awareness in audiology and hearing sciences on a global, national, and local scale. To that end, he announced a new initiative whereby the AAAF will earmark 25% of any state-academy member’s 2012-13 tax-deductable donations back to their state academy’s educational program. In other words, for every dollar you donate to the AAAF in 2012-13, your state academy will have 25 cents earmarked or set aside to assist with state educational programs (i.e. state meetings).
This is a total WIN-WIN situation not only for AAAF, but for every audiologist and their corresponding state academy. As soon as I heard this announcement, I whipped out my purse and wrote out another check to AAAF. I had already donated but this is such a great idea, it was worth writing out another check. I challenge every audiologist to make a donation to AAAF in any amount, even if it is $10. For you students out there, organize a fund-raiser and donate the proceeds to AAAF to ensure that your state academy is earmarked 25% of that gift. If you don’t have an established student academy association and/or the time/energy to coordinate a fund-raiser, make a commitment to skip that Starbucks Grande-triple-latte-extra-whip one day next week and give that $3-$5 to the AAAF. To take part in this program, simply visit www.audiologyfoundation.org to make your donation, and denote your state academy’s name in the tribute description. Feel good while helping your local audiology community and the profession at large!