WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The 3rd annual CARE Project Gala is set for this Saturday at the Terraces on Sir Tyler.
The event is the organizations only fundraiser. Proceeds raised help pay for an annual retreat for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Johnnie Sexton founded the CARE Project. A pediatric audiologist for the past 30 years, he says he realized over the years that families with hearing impaired children were getting the medical help they needed, but not the emotional support.
"We're great at diagnosing and treating, but we do pause when the parents get that news and they have to deal with and process and embrace that news," Sexton says. "We do allow them to literally grieve. And grieving is the beginning point. They move on and that's what we help them do."
The retreat is held for local families every year at Bald Head Island. Sexton chose that location because of the lighthouse.
Aaron and Lindsay Wilharm learned about the project after watching a video.
"I remember I was in our office at home and I ran into our bedroom where Aaron was and I said you gotta watch this. It's a family that's just like us---its just like us," Lindsay said.
Addison Wilharm, their four year old daughter was born deaf. She now has a cochlea implant and hears much better. But her parents say without the CARE Project and the chance to get with other families dealing with the same issues, they don't know what they would have done.
"So now all of a sudden we're introduced to people who know what to do and they know how to do it and everything's going to be ok...that's the best part---everything's going to be ok," Aaron says.
The CARE Project will take place this Saturday at The Terraces on Sir Tyler.
For ticket information, click here.
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