Each year, the Elmira Ear and Hearing Clinic holds a contest for the community to nominate people to receive free hearing aids.
“Often these are offered to people who are financially unable to purchase a critical piece of technology that will help them on their hearing journey,” said Victoria Bauman, executive assistant and head of communications at the clinic.
Juliana Schlegel is an audiologist and owner of the clinic. “We originally launched this campaign to show how different we are as a clinic – we are not like any other clinic. Within our community we know that there are people in need and we have seen that there are people who cannot afford to buy good quality hearing aids. This was all created to help the community,” Schlegel said.
“I’m from Elmira – I was born and raised here. Growing up here and now owning a business in this community, I wanted to be able to give back to the people who helped me get to where I am today. It is something very near and dear to my heart. »
This year the award was renamed in honor of a staff member who died suddenly in 2021. Theresa Shillingford had worked at the clinic, primarily as an accountant for the Kitchener location, since 2010. She also shared the accounting work from the Elmira Clinic.
“Theresa was such a lovely soul,” Bauman said. “She had such a calm and collected spirit that encouraged peace in any situation. She always looked for the positive in everything and everyone, and was constantly looking for ways to bring out the best in others.
“When she laughed, she brought overwhelming joy to everyone around her. Her smile lit up her whole face and made her eyes sparkle. Theresa had a wonderful gift for asking real questions and making you feel like you were the most important person in the conversation. She was always ready to lend a listening ear and offer help in any way she could.
Shillingford died at the family cottage in July aged 59. She left behind her husband Clive, her sons David and Brian and Brian’s wife Zoe, as well as her brother Shawn and his wife Wendy and their son Casey.
“It was a very unexpected and sudden loss, which is what left such a big hole in the Shillingford family as well as the Ear & Hearing Clinic family,” Bauman said.
From now on, the competition will be known as Theresa Shillingford Gift of Hearing Award.
This year, the award goes to a woman in her late 70s and a five-year-old girl born with hearing loss, Bauman said.
The ceremony and event honoring Shillingford is taking place today (Thursday) at 6 p.m. at the Elmira location of the Ear and Hearing Clinic at 69 Arthur St. S.