Quota Club of Beckley’s joyous Christmas celebration for Raleigh County hearing-impaired students

For more than 35 years the Bekley Quota Club, a group that promotes better speech and hearing has been having a Christmas party celebrating all the hearing-impaired children in Raleigh County.

And those students got a Christmas celebration like no other.

“We think that Santa has learned sign language over his little break in the summertime, and so he will be able to communicate with these children both speaking and/or signing,” said chair Susan Pietrantozzi. “They have each asked for a gift from Santa and they’ll receive a gift and a snack bag and delicious dinner fixed by the people here at the Dream Center.”

Audiologist Pamela Whitmore says nowadays most of the hearing impaired have cochlear implants or hearing aids, so they can communicate. Bringing all of them together this way they know they are not alone.

“Because most of them are home-schooled and they have traveling teachers that come to them,” co-chair Whitmore said. “It’s good for them to see that there is a whole community here.”

Many of these children have never been able to visit Santa or his helpers in a mall because they couldn’t communicate with him. So for some, this is their first time getting to talk with the Saint Nick.

“For Beckley Quota, this is the most wonderful day of the year. We look forward to it all year,” said Pietrantozzi. “We’ll have about 100 people here; each child brings one guest or more… It is our chance to welcome them and let them know there are people in this community that care very much about them.”

Being there gives the children a chance to immerse themselves in the community… see people of different professions, what they do and can achieve by philanthropy and helping others. Such a joyous occasion.

“It’s a moving experience; we get to see their faces as they light up to Santa; and enjoy the holiday season,” Whitmore said. “And we like to share it with them.”

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