Scottish Rite Masons give a voice to western South Dakota kids
On October 12th, the Black Hills Scottish Rite made their latest gift to Black Hills area children—a $30,000 check to LifeScape Rapid City from the South Dakota Scottish Rite Foundation. Since 1994, Scottish Rite Masons have donated $493,656 to the Scottish Rite Children’s Clinic for Communication Disorders at LifeScape to help kids overcome speech and language barriers. The funds have supported speech therapy at LifeScape in Rapid City and through their outreach services to West River schools, impacting about 700 children each year.
Speech-language pathology helps children not only with articulation and receptive/expressive language skills, but also with feeding clinics, reading, social skills, and augmentative and alternative communication. Scottish Rite support also provides continued training for therapists, to ensure they are using the latest research in their treatments.
The Scottish Rite Masons recognize that early intervention with speech and language therapy helps children succeed in school and as adults in the workplace and their private lives. Children who might have remained educationally and socially behind for a lifetime can now lead more productive lives through better communication skills. These are kids who might “fall through the cracks” in the healthcare and educational systems. The support helps cover gaps in insurance and Medicaid funding.
“The generous support of the Scottish Rite Masons allows our speech therapists to access the latest technology, tools, and trainings to provide high quality care to those who need speech therapy in Western South Dakota,” says Tisha DeGross, Director of LifeScape in Rapid City. “Their support leads to kids making progress and living their best lives. There is no doubt many children would not get this help without the Scottish Rite Masons.”
To learn more about the Black Hills Scottish Rite Masons, call (605) 399-9259 or email BHSR@rushmore.com.
Photo: Scottish Rite Masons Venerable Master Harold Ireland presented the check for $30,000 to Director Tisha DeGross. Front row: Robert Tesch, LifeScape Rapid City Director Tisha DeGross, Venerable Master Harold Ireland, Speech-Language Pathologist Terri Gray, Bruce Crisman. Back row: Jeffrey VanCuren, Dave Meltz, Red Alspaw, Steve Barns, Herb Cook, Speech-Language Pathologist Mallory Amo, Speech-Language Pathologist Kristen Wilen.