Author to speak at Coon Rapids Lions club dinner meeting

The Coon Rapids Lions Club will be hosting a speaker at its dinner meeting Wednesday, Jan. 23 in Banquet Room A at the Coon Rapids Civic Center.

The club has arranged for Monique Hammond, author of “What Did You Say? An Unexpected Journey into the World of Hearing Loss,” to make an appearance at its monthly social event.

Social hour begins at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner starts promptly at 7 p.m. Hammond will begin her presentation at about 7:30 p.m.

Hammond graduated with a bachelor of science in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota with high distinction and is a registered pharmacist who has worked in retail stores and in hospital pharmacies in Europe, the United States and Australia.

Her priorities have always been patient safety and advocacy as well as health education and disease prevention, according to Lyle Goff, club vice president.

Hammond entered the world of hearing loss in fall 2005 when — in a matter of four hours — she went totally deaf in her left ear.

This life-changing event put her on track to research issues regarding ear and hearing disorders.

In her book, Hammond describes her own experience with sudden left-sided deafness and equilibrium problems.

More importantly, she talks about what she learned from the experience, according to Goff.

Hammond has made numerous presentations on health issues across the country and has published newspaper and magazine articles both at home and overseas.

She produced and hosted her own health-focused public access TV show “Over-the-Counter” in Minneapolis.

Hammond was appointed by the governor of Minnesota to the MCDHH (Commission for Deaf, Deafblind and Hard-of-Hearing Minnesotans) where she finished two three-year terms and acted as vice-chairperson.

She has served on multiple hearing-related advisory committees and is vice-president (2012-13) and president-elect (2013-14) of HLAA TC (Hearing Loss Association of America, Twin Cities).

Hammond is also a member of the ATA (American Tinnitus Association).

As part of its commitment to providing community service, the Coon Rapids Lions Club is inviting anyone interested in hearing this fascinating story to attend its January dinner meeting, according to Beth Janish, club program chairperson.

“The Coon Rapids Lions are proud to offer this opportunity for people to hear about hearing loss from a first-hand perspective and how this person and their family dealt with this sudden change,” Janish said.

“We Lions hope this testimonial will be of use to either someone in attendance or to an individual someone knows.

“One of the Lions’ long supported causes is the preservation of hearing and helping those in dealing with hearing loss.

“We feel that providing an opportunity for the public to learn more about the importance of hearing is a contribution towards make our community a good place to live.”

A free-will donation will be collected at the dinner with the proceeds going to the MD5M Lions Hearing Foundation, Janish said.

In addition, a collection of used hearing aids and eyeglasses will take place at the dinner to support the Lions’ ongoing service project of sight and hearing conservation, she said.

The dinner price is $12. Reservations must be made by Sunday, Jan. 19. RSVP by calling 612-558-2851 or by emailing Janish at dbjanish@mac.com.

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