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HILL Program to Host Fundraiser Gala

HILL Program instructors and graduate clinicians join program participants, parents and supporters for an autism awareness walk in April 2018. Photo by Sarah Sapp/School of Applied Sciences

A University of Mississippi program that aids children with language disorders will host a fundraising gala March 19 at Tallahatchie Gourmet in Oxford.

The HILL Language and Literacy Program provides intense language therapy to young children with moderate to severe language disorders. It also provides clinical training for graduate students seeking careers as speech-language pathologists.

“As a mother and a family physician, I have been so impressed with my children’s progress in the HILL Program,” said Kimberly Webb Nerren, parent of one of the program’s clients. “Over a short period of time, both have so many new words, and their social interactions have increased exponentially.

“We are so thankful for the entire HILL staff for creating such a wonderful and loving learning environment.”

The event, which includes live entertainment featuring the Ole Miss Hand Band, a raffle, food and drinks, is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person, available at the door or online athttp://csd.olemiss.edu/HILL/. Venue size is limited, so interested parties are advised to purchase tickets in advance.

“This fundraiser is so important to the future of the HILL Program and the incredible clients we help every day,” said Amy Livingston, one of the program’s clinical instructors and a speech-language pathologist.

“Every dollar donated will be spent on essential classroom and faculty resources that support the children’s learning and development. The money we raise will help with the sustainability of our program.”

Community members unable to attend the event who wish to support the program can make a “Friends of HILL” donation online.

Hamilton Frey, parent of another HILL Program client, encourages everyone in the community to support the program.

“The Hill Program has given my son the chance to be a normal child by providing him with ways of learning and applying proper behavior in the everyday social environments and peer interactions we all take for granted,” Frey said. “For children like him, these situations can be very difficult, confusing and frightening. These social skills have allowed Thomas to thrive in a normal classroom setting and have given him the best chance of leading a normal life.

“By giving to the Hill Program, you can provide children like Thomas a chance for success they would not have anywhere else. Programs like this are in high demand and are often limited by funding.”

Organizers are looking for corporate and private sponsors for the gala. For $1,000, platinum-level sponsors receive two tickets and recognition at the event. Gold-level sponsors ($500) get one ticket and recognition; silver-level sponsors ($250) get recognition; and bronze-level sponsors ($150) get sponsorship appearance in event materials.

For more information, contact Livingston at ajliving@olemiss.edu or call 662-915-2942. 

The HILL Program is part of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, one of the five departments in the UM School of Applied Sciences. The school offers professional preparation programs that integrate academic study, clinical training, research, service-learning and community outreach, leading to the development of leaders whose professional endeavors will improve health and well-being.

By Robin Brett

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