The seventh annual Jazz & Juleps event raised more than $75,000 for scholarships for audiology and speech pathology students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Jazz & Juleps, held May 26 at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock, annually celebrates Better Hearing and Speech Month.
This year is the first time the event featured a silent auction with more than 40 items for bid and a live auction. The auctions raised more than $11,000.
Funds raised from Jazz & Juleps will be used to create an endowed scholarship in the name of the event’s honorees, Lynn Coates and her daughter, Caroline Coates-Nelson. The scholarship will be awarded to students in the UALR Department of Audiology and Speech Pathology.
Coates is an advocate who sought resources for knowledge and assistance when she learned her daughter was born with severe hearing loss. She joined the UALR Speech and Hearing Clinic, served as executive director for eight years at the Arkansas Association for Hearing Impaired Children, and was elected to serve on the parent section of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
“Our daughter, Caroline, may not have every bit of help that she needs, but she has more than those hearing‑impaired children that came before her,” Coates said. “Much of what is available to her is due to efforts made by other parents and professionals. I wonder if anyone, particularly me, has remembered to thank them. It is so easy to take the services for granted and never recognize the struggle that took place to instigate them.”
Coates assisted many families through her initiatives to help those who are deaf and hard of hearing. The program at Camp Aldersgate for oral hearing impaired children and the Whitney Derrick Lending Library were among those initiatives.
Since 2010, Jazz & Juleps has raised more than $450,000 in endowed accounts for audiology and speech pathology scholarships. This year, the Audiology and Speech Pathology department awarded $19,000 in scholarships to 12 well-deserving students.
This year’s scholarship recipients include Kaitlyn Miller, Lindsay Sloan, Rachel Weyrens, Holly Meyers, Claire Davies, Emily Peirce, Madison White, Lauren Crouch, Stephanie Friemel, Taryn Pegram, Veronica LaGarde, and Karishma Gujral.
Miller, 22, of Ponca City, Oklahoma, was thankful to receive a $2,000 scholarship, which she will use to pay the tuition for an additional UALR class in auditory-based intervention during the 2016-17 school year.
The class provides a strong foundation for aspiring professionals who wish to develop listening and spoken language skills in individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“It’s an area that is not heavily focused on, but I really want to teach kids how to communicate orally, to learn to speak, and help them find their voices,” said Miller, who is earning a master’s degree in speech pathology from UALR.
In the upper left photo, Lynn Coates (middle) and her daughter, Caroline Coates-Nelson (left) were honored at the seventh annual Jazz & Juleps event on May 26.