CVS Health in Action: When and how did you get involved with The Learning Center for the Deaf?
Mary Jane Huru: My daughter Courtney was born in 1991. We found out she was profoundly deaf when she was eight months old. I immediately began to search for the best Early Intervention program for our family. I wanted Courtney to get the support she needed and learn more about the resources available to us, so we could learn how best to communicate and support her. Luckily, we found The Learning Center for the Deaf’s Parent Infant Program, which is a Specialty Service Provider for Early Intervention. Courtney attended The Learning Center for the Deaf until her high school graduation in 2010, and in that time, it became more than a school to us – it became our extended family.
CHA: How did you get involved in CVS Health’s Charity Classic Golf Tournament? What has been your experience at the event?
MJH: I have been involved with the Charity Classic Golf Tournament since the very beginning. I became involved because, as a parent and a staff member at The Learning Center for the Deaf, it was important for me to give back.
Since 2007, Lynn Marshall and I have been the volunteer chairpersons for the transportation committee. We hit the ground running on Friday afternoon. Our team’s role is to make runs to pick up the players from the airport and to shuttle them to and from the golf course. Each year, Lynn and I look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces we have come to know. As volunteers, we have always felt welcomed and appreciated by the entire tournament staff.
CHA: Can you tell us more about TLC’s students' participation in the All Kids Can 3-Hole Challenge?
MJH: For the past two years, the 3-Hole Challenge has been a really fun way for our students to get involved in the Charity Classic. The Challenge is designed to offer kids of all abilities a chance to participate in the tournament and play three holes of golf on a professional course like the pros. Our participants enjoy dressing in golf gear and having the opportunity to meet professional golfers. It’s wonderful to see each student walk up the 18th green, with one of the pros by their side, and be introduced to the crowd. Instead of the normal applause, the announcer asks the crowd to cheer by waving their hands. It’s truly an amazing opportunity for our kids and we’ve been very fortunate to be included.
CHA: Why do you think it’s valuable to have the children participate in the Challenge?
MJH: The students need events like these! It really helps to give their self-esteem a boost and a special moment to shine. It’s an opportunity they most likely will never experience elsewhere. For a short time, they get to be the center of attention and that feels good. It’s always of value to show kids that they can do anything and that they don’t have to be perfect; they just have to have fun and enjoy these moments.
I also think it’s important to have the community at large exposed to the different abilities many of these children possess. We want to get the word out that our children are just like any other children; they might have a different language, but their wants, needs, desires, abilities, cares and concerns are not that different from every other child.
CHA: How can people get involved with The Learning Center for the Deaf?
MJH: To get involved, or for more information on any of the services offered at The Learning Center for the Deaf, visit our website at www.tlcdeaf.org.
The CVS Health Charity Classic is the largest charitable sporting event in Rhode Island. Each year, the tournament strives to help charitable organizations make a positive impact in the lives of those who need it most. Since its inception, the Charity Classic has raised more than $18 million in support of hundreds of nonprofit organizations throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern New England. This June, the Charity Classic will once again bring together 20 of the PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour’s premier professionals to help raise funds for deserving nonprofit organizations that share CVS Health’s commitment to helping people on their path to better health.