Grant allows for better safety at Whitlock

BREMEN — During this year’s annual Whitlock Festival, the residents and their families and staff and the general community will be celebrating more than just camaraderie and The Whitlock’s existence. Attendees can also see the newly-installed smoke detectors for the hearing impaired.
“Last year we wrote for and received a grant from the Marshall County Community Foundation (MCCF),” explained Karen Wills, executive director of The Whitlock. “Our matching grant was awarded for the purchase and installation of life saving strobe lights and horns for the hearing impaired.”
Wills said that the need for these specific safety detectors was exposed after the regular testing of the (typical) smoke detectors installed.
“We recognized that many of our residents could not hear the alarm and if they did hear it, many could not discern what that ‘little noise’ was,” she said. “This clearly indicated the difference and lifesaving potential that a strobe-horn can make! ...When installing the new system with strobe lights and horns, the residents were amazed at how they could hear and see the signal.” 
The need for the more indicative alarms was realized when staff recognized that many hearing aid wearers remove the devices when they sleep.
“Most of us are unaware of how this simple act of comfort can greatly impact a life,” Wills said. “People that don’t wear them assume that if you wear an aid, you always wear it.”
The MCCF granted The Whitlock $2,500 to be matched by donors and the installation of the units cost a total of $8,400 — the difference of which was secured through donations from sponsoring churches and individuals. 
“We also distributed Strobe Light Cards and held public ‘speakouts’ during our annual Indiana Kentucky Conference where more than 150 people attended representing thousands of church members and charitable corporations,” Wills said.
She expressed that because of the generous donors, four strobe lights devices are available and for the local public.
“We would love to give to the hearing impaired of our community through the local fire department as they know and can assess the need,” Wills explained. 
The Whitlock Festival will take place Sunday, Aug. 19 beginning with worship at 11:30 a.m. There will hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and drinks and attendees are asked to bring a lawn chair and a dish to share. To learn more call 574-546-4765 or visit www.thewhitlock.org.

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