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The Feast experienced through my eyes and ears

Sound Advice by Ruth Bernstein

I’ve had the pleasure of attending CHC’s annual fundraising event, The Feast, for many years. When I arrive, I marvel at the scene unfolding outside the windows of the Chelsea Piers ballroom: the magnificent sunsets over the New Jersey Palisades and the lights of the downtown skyline that sparkle and shine, reflected brightly in the river. This year, it was warm enough to walk onto the pier outside the ballroom to savor the view and watch the river traffic—water taxis, dinner yachts, tugboats working and sailors taking a quick, relaxing trip on the river after work. I feel like I’m in the middle of a magnificent movie set, which I am!

After I’ve filled my head with this wondrous scene, I return to the ballroom to greet friends and staff, taste delicious mini-dishes concocted for this occasion by a talented group of chefs, study the wines and window shop the special gifts that are being auctioned off in support of CHC.

I visit the suppliers of hearing aids and assistive devices and learn my hearing aid company is putting out new, more powerful aids and streamers in a few weeks. I make a mental note to call my CHC audiologist for an appointment to try this equipment at the beginning of 2016. I look into getting a captioned phone and try on a new pair of captioning glasses the Regal Company rep showed. I used the new, lighter glasses when I saw the excellent movie “Spotlight” and enjoyed every word of the riveting dialogue.

I always come prepared to communicate with the streamer and mic that work with my hearing aids. These assistive devices are an integral part of the way I hear at parties and other noisy functions. With the holiday season coming up, it’s time to review coping strategies. Here’s a link you may find useful at holiday time.

The best part of The Feast is seeing the 400+ people who gather to show their support for the wonderful work the Center for Hearing and Communication does year-round and celebrate those individuals who have been particularly helpful. I can hear and understand every word because the room is looped and there is CART (real-time captioning). An ASL interpreter is available for those who use sign language.

Bill Ritter and Rose, a CHC client

Bill Ritter, of Eyewitness News, is the emcee for The Feast. This year he interviewed Rose, a poised six-year-old with two cochlear implants. Rose exemplifies the successful work CHC does with young children with hearing loss. It was a pleasure to hear her speak!

As a longtime client, I’m grateful to the people who support CHC and make it possible for the staff to deliver services to everyone with hearing loss in our community, including me.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season!

Ruth Bernstein Consumer Advocate

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