N. Huntingdon Scout seeks to help hearing impaired
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Friday, April 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A North Huntingdon Township teenager seeks to help the hearing impaired while working toward the Boy Scout's highest honor.
Potential Eagle Scout Mark Downey, 13, has begun raising money to buy bedside smoke detectors that also serve as alarm clocks.
The Irwin-based Boy Scout Troop 295 member acquired more than $3,600 from selling approximately 500 Easter flowers last month. The money will be used to purchase Lifetone HL 150 models at $112.50 each.
The devices alert the hearing impaired with flashing light, siren and a vibrating attachment that can be placed under a pillow or mattress.
Mark said he plans to distribute between 48-56 smoke detectors through the Circleville Volunteer Fire Department to patients from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, local schools for the deaf, and children in Westmoreland County.
He said any extra alarms will go to the hearing impaired in Allegheny County.
Mark, a Norwin Middle School eighth-grader, said the Eagle Scout project is designed to help children like himself instead of doing a more labor-based effort.
“I thought something nicer was something that I should do instead of doing something like go to a church and paint a wall,” he said.
Mark's mother RoseAnn Downey said her son was diagnosed with hearing problems at age 3. She said he suffered a hockey injury years ago that further impacted his hearing.
He uses a hearing aid and an implant that helps produces electric sounds. Mark underwent surgery in 2011 that allowed him to hear from his right ear for the first time.
“I'm very proud of you for doing this,” RoseAnn Downey told Mark. “You're saving lives, (which is) the most important part.”
“It just feels kind of not real in a way,” Mark said. “It feels like people are treating it better than I ever would expect.”
Bill Sombo, assistant chief at Circleville VFD, said the bedside smoke detector could be a life-saving device for someone with impaired hearing.
“Anyone who is hearing impaired isn't going to be able to hear a smoke alarm when it goes off, especially when they're sleeping,” Sombo said. “This will give them the notice they need, and is going to be a great device for anyone with a hearing impairment.”
For more information on the smoke detectors, or to make a donation, contact the Downey family at email@example.com.
Tribune-Review News Service contributed to this story. Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Santa spends the day in Steel Valley, the evening in Elizabeth
- Jefferson Hospital to say ‘thank you’ with light-up night
- Retirees, senior citizens anticipate annual holiday program
- McKeesport woman charged with insurance fraud
- Agents remove dogs from unlicensed kennel
- East Allegheny adds ‘wish list’ items
- Survivors recognized during West Mifflin Area ceremony
- Speedway opening McKeesport store, plans to build 3 more