This week we had strong attendance numbers.  There were 36 members along with in attendance, plus four guests and several late walk-ins who came to hear our speaker.  This week’s formal guests included Greg Nelson, a prospective member and guest of John Thomas.  Also our speaker, Dave Abell, had three guests – Elaine McCaffrey, an attorney from Glenview, Toby Nicholson, retired New Trier dance and theater teacher and active producer of shows of community theater from Winnetka, and John Rea, an economist from Evanston.  All three are involved with the North Shore Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America.  Mike D’Onofrio represented the Village of Winnetka staff.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  It was announced, and well received, that Bernie Michna would be our President Nominee and will be set to serve in 2018-19.  --  Last week’s food harvesting event for the Glencoe Garden Club was very successful.  The products of the harvest were taken to some area food pantries and soup kitchens.  --  Please note that next week’s meeting will be held in Room 204 (second floor) of the Community House.  --  Rich Lalley announced that Operation Warm would begin its drive to raise funds to supply new winter coats to kids in need.  This is one of our club’s annual projects.  --   Pat O’Day invited members to attend a fundraiser for the One World Medical Foundation which supports research on PTSD out of the The Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago.  The event will be held in Chicago on Oct. 16 and involves a display of 300 classic cars (the Klairmont Kollection).  --  John Thomas sought support from the members to sign his petition to run for one of the Trustee positions for New Trier Township government.
We celebrated the birthdays of Brooke Peppy and John Stone this week.
Happy Buck$ were contributed by Sam Badger in honor of the upcoming reunion for his 1952 “Suicide Charlie” squad from the Korean War.  Tony Kambich contributed in honor of Sam’s military service.  Ned Meisner and Pat O’Day also indicated they were happy with financial donations. 
Our speaker for the day was David Abell, a 38-year member of our club, who is now a Rotarian in Rhode Island where he is currently living in retirement.  Dave, who has a significant hearing loss, developed a deep interest for hearing assistive technology (HAT).  He has been wearing hearing aids for the past 27 years.  Dave reported that 48 million Americans currently have some type of hearing loss and the number is growing.  Approximately one-third of Americans have a hearing loss at 65.  The percentage rises to 95% among 80 year olds.
There is a wide range of prices for hearing aids.  Dave reported that for good hearing aids one could expect to pay $2500 - $3000 per ear.  Most of that price is for the follow-up service that is required to finely adjust the devices.  Dave went back 15 times for adjustments for his current pair.  Hearing problems are a result of hearing consonants.  As an example it is difficult for the hard of hearing to distinguish between 15 and 50 as it is 16 and 60.
All hearing aids amplify all sounds.  The acoustics of a room definitely affect the ability to hear.  With many hard surfaces you get several sound hitting your ear at slightly different times making it difficult to distinguish words.  He suggests moving closer to the sound source whether it is a person or a speaker in a sound system
One of the assistive technologies that Dave is promoting are hearing loops.  A hearing loop is a wire that encircles a room and is connected to the sound system.  The sound is transmitted electromagnetically over the loop.  This electromagnetic signal is picked up by a telecoil in the hearing aid.  With a hearing loop, unwanted background noise is cut out and there is no need to use a receiver or headset.  Any person with a compatible hearing aid can use these systems when available.  There are not limits on the number of people who can use such an installed system.
Dave has encouraged the village to install this technology in the council chamber as well as suggesting that the Community House to put in a loop system in Matz Hall.  We are grateful to Dave for his excellent presentation on this assistive technology to take off the limitations of the hard-of-hearing.