Rite Care Royal Knight Out


Alaina Laster

Volunteers set up and prepare for fun activities

The Marshall University Speech and Hearing center, with the help of the Scottish Rite Foundation, hosted an on-campus event to raise money for children in need of speech and language therapy.  

“We partnered with the Huntington Scottish Rite Foundation in 2002, and their sole mission is to raise money for children that receive services at our center (Marshall Speech and Hearing Center),” Pam Holland, chair of the University’s Department of Communication disorders, said.  

Holland and the Foundation had to rethink how to raise money this year. In previous years, they hosted a spring dinner that included a silent auction to increase the funds through ticket sales and sponsors. Now, they needed a way to gather outdoors while remaining safe during the pandemic.  

Princesses pose with eager children (Alaina Laster)

“The inspiration for the event really came from the children,” Holland said. The Pandemic has changed the way everyone has functioned for the past year. The spring dinner has been around for many years, and now it was time for them to take an innovative approach. 

“We need money to support the children,” Holland said. “Generally, in the last 12-15 years, we have done an annual spring dinner, and that spring dinner has raised about $25,000, but because of Covid we weren’t able to do that. We tried to reinvent something outside that would be covid friendly and to focus on what’s at our heart and that’s the kids.”  

Holland said their goal was to create something for everyone, so the cost was only $10. They wanted everyone to feel welcome at an event where kids can embrace their inner royalty, or knighthood.  

In previous years, they aimed for the goal of $25,000, but because of how the pandemic has affected themselves and others, the goal has changed to simply help as many kids as possible with the money raised.  

“We have been working on this event ever since we decided we weren’t going to have the Spring Dinner in March,” Holland said. We started planning probably back in April. The amount of work put into creating this event through the help of the Huntington and Marshall community has shown how much everyone cares.” 

“We have never had an event outside that has required so much technical equipment and I think everybody needs to know all the work that goes on behind the scenes too,” Holland said. “There are so many people that have come out and helped us, make sure we have electricity, make sure we have a stage, make sure we have tents. It’s nice to see that the Marshall Community is coming together for us as well. Special thanks need to go to Kelly Young and Ernay Adams.  

Holland said Adams owns a company called “Pixie Dust by Ernay,” and she donated most of the makeup and the hair materials.  

“The two of them are geniuses at planning, and we could not have done it without them,” Holland said.  

In the end, the event raised $15,000 and it has become a goal of Holland’s to host it annually in the future.  

“Most families that have children who need speech and language therapy, their insurance covers the cost of it. But there are some people that don’t have insurance, or their insurance doesn’t cover it, or their copay is so high that they can’t pay for it,” Holland said. 

 All raised funds go to the Scottish Rite foundation, which is available to those in need through scholarship applications. The Huntington Scottish Rite Foundation Website can be found at https://www.scottishritehuntington.org/