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Letter – Town lost great advocate for persons with hearing loss

To The Editor:

Farmville lost a great citizen and advocate when Tom McBride passed away recently.

We at the Longwood Speech, Hearing and Learning Services (SHLS) have known him as an enthusiastic supporter of hearing conservation and service to persons with hearing loss. As a veteran with a hearing loss, he was a strong supporter of early education about hearing protection.

He envisioned creating a hearing conservation program for elementary school students, in collaboration with Prince Edward School District. He worked with our communication sciences and disorders grad students in the design and has been present at nearly 100% of the presentations since first created in 2010.

His vision for hearing protection extended to musicians and he facilitated the Farmville Lions’ support for purchasing musician’s ear plugs for Prince Edward, Cumberland, Fuqua, and Longwood University’s bands and the collaborative Lions-SHLS presentations on hearing conservation to the band students.

Mr. McBride was also committed to ensuring that persons with hearing loss had the opportunity to receive amplification, regardless of their financial status. As chair of the Farmville Lions Hearing Committee, he collaborated with SHLS to provide hearing evaluations and hearing aids to persons with limited means.

Tom was a founding member of Hearing Loss Support Group, serving on the planning committee and sharing information about the meeting with any and all persons (e.g., his church, VFW). He served as an active member of the SHLS Advisory Committee.

In recognition of his commitment to persons with hearing loss, Mr. McBride was the 2020 recipient of the Hamilton CapTel Better Hearing and Speech Month award.

We know that we all will miss him greatly.

Christine Eubanks, clinical audiologist

Lissa Power-deFur, director

Longwood’s Speech, Hearing

and Learning Services