Fredonia Opera House patrons with hearing impairments may find themselves enjoying opera house programs and events more as the result of a recent donation from the Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club.
The club donated money to purchase five new headsets for the Fredonia Opera House's assistive listening system.
"We are very grateful for the Lions Club's support in this project," said Rick Davis, opera house executive director. "The Opera House's assistive listening system was originally purchased nearly two decades ago by the Lions Club; and they have been very generous in continuing to support it."
Rick Davis, Fredonia Opera House executive director, and Judy Cole, Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club vice president, test assistive listening system headsets recently purchased by the Lions Club for use at the Opera House.
Davis said the system amplifies the sound that passes through the theatre's primary sound system and transmits it to headsets worn by hearing-impaired audience members. A volume adjustment on the headsets lets the wearer adjust exactly how much amplification they receive. The headsets can be used during any live performance concert or production. The headsets are available to any patron needing them and can be requested from any usher.
The assistive listening system with five headset receivers was initially paid for by the Lions Club and installed shortly after the Fredonia Opera House's grand reopening in 1994. Since that time, two of the headsets have become inoperable and two of the remaining headsets are showing signs of imminent failure. Repairing the receivers is not an option because their production has been discontinued and replacement parts are no longer available.
"The Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club, through the wonderful support of the community, has for more than 70 years, been able to assist the community, not only with sight and hearing programs, but also numerous other projects," said Judy Cole, Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club vice president. "This year alone, besides providing the hearing equipment assistance, the club has teamed with DFT, Rural Ministries and local fire departments in providing smoke and carbon dioxide alarms to individuals in need. Last year, the club provided war veterans with a trip to the memorials in Washington, D.C."
The Dunkirk Fredonia Lions Club is a part of Lions Clubs International, a network of volunteers who work together to make a difference in their local community as well as in communities worldwide. While the club's primary mission is vision care and service to the blind, its efforts also go to support unmet health care needs and education. The motto of the Lions Club is "We Serve."
For more information on the club or membership, call 672-8509 or write to Dunkirk-Fredonia Lions Club, P.O. Box 44, Dunkirk, 14048.