Luncheon wraps up summer RiteCare clinics
Radford University’s Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders (COSD) concluded its three-week RiteCare Clinics summer program with a luncheon July 2.
The event was held to honor and recognize the children, families and graduate students who participated and express gratitude to the Virginia Scottish Rite Foundation (VSRF) for “their unwavering support,” said COSD Chair Dianne Millar, speaking at the luncheon.
Held in Kyle Hall’s Multi-Purpose Room, the event was highlighted by James Cole, Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Virginia, who presented a check for $33,000 to support the university's continuing initiatives in partnership with VSRF.
The organization’s support reached a couple of significant milestones this year, Millar told the gathering.
“This is an extra special year as we celebrate the 25th year of our relationship with the Scottish Rite. That relationship has allowed us to provide 23 years of summer clinical programs,” Millar said. “The total donations provided to our department is reaching an astounding $1 million.”
In recognizing the many people who have made contributions to the program, Millar highlighted James Nicely, a former COSD chair who “who forged the relationship with Scottish Rite 25 years ago,” Millar said. Nicely was present with his wife, Sonya.
Five student clinicians who worked with children and their families throughout the summer program offered brief presentations at the luncheon.
Robin De Azagra and Alexis Hetherington spoke about the Preschool Language Lab. Corina McEntire provided information about the STEAM Language and Literacy Camp. Emily Speaks gave a talk about Adventure Language and Literacy and Jessica Vorderer spoke about the Language Literacy Institute.
Those students received Scottish Rite Summer Fellowships for the 2018 clinical programs.
Millar later called to the stage Robyn Baron, who attended the summer program when she was 5 years old. Baron later served as a camp counselor and will be a freshman this fall at Radford University studying fashion design.
“My history here at Radford is a long one,” Baron said. “I grew up here in the loving arms of the Scottish Rite and the lovely staff at Waldron. I have so many people to thank for who I am today.”
Baron’s mother, Rachel Hall, expressed her gratitude to the university and Sottish Rite.
“There are not enough words to express my heart-felt thanks,” Rachel Hall said. “The investments you are making to this program are truly changing lives.”
Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill expressed a “heart-felt thank you” to Cole and members of the Scottish Rite Foundation.
“With the gracious support of the Scottish Rite Foundation, Radford clinicians impact speaking, listening and reading skills of young people all across the region, the state and the country,” Hemphill said.
Before presenting the check, Cole called Robyn Baron and her mother back to the stage. He presented the check to them and asked they, in turn, give it to President Hemphill.
“Thank you for thanking us. This has made an amazing difference in our lives as well,” Cole said. “We really appreciate the opportunity to allow us to do what we want to do, and that is help other people.”