Writing the next chapter of Sertoma service and philanthropy


Do you want others to join you in Sertoma service and philanthropy?

There is once upon a time, stories of the good old days. There is also, once upon a time, imaginative stories where anything seems possible. Our future requires that we embrace both aspects of once upon a time.

Do you want others to join you in Sertoma service and philanthropy? Then you need to share your Sertoma story.  It is not a story of what you did, but of how helping others made you feel. People want good feelings in their life. If you have a story that touches them, they are going to want to know how to get that in their life.

If you want your club to be known, admired and supported, then you need to share your club’s story. Your club story does not begin with “we meet on Tuesday’s and do a pancake breakfast, and …”  That is a report. The support you seek, is not for the club but those you serve, so your club story is told in the voice of those you help. In the end you are asking people to join you in supporting people with need – so make those people, your story.

Our future depends on great stories about the feelings we have shared and experienced.  Our future requires stories of the difference we have made in the lives of people. Our future needs stories about what is possible as others share in our efforts.

It is why our convention in April is a focus on your story, your club’s story, and the next chapter of Sertoma service and philanthropy you want to write. Join us as we celebrate and plan our happily ever after.

Steven Murphy
Sertoma Executive Director

Service to Mankind & Sertoman of the Year

McArdle, Pat 08As we approach the fourth quarter of Sertoma it is time to celebrate with those in your club and community who have distinguished themselves in service to others. In other words, it is time to select a club Service to Mankind recipient and Sertoman of the Year. What better way to recognize the accomplishments of others by participating in this annual recognition process.

If you haven’t started, appoint a committee and seek out nominations from your area for those worthy of receiving your club’s Service to Mankind Award. You can find nominations for the award from your community. If you are out and working in the community, you will meet outstanding volunteers. After selecting the recipient you are encouraged to make this a special event by holding a dinner or reception inviting the general public and the recipient’s friends and family members to help recognize that special person who is making a difference in your community.

As the end of the year approaches it is also time to select your Service to Mankind award winner for your club; that outstanding member who has gone above and beyond in service to your club and community. Make the announcement and presentation something special. Recognize that great Sertoman’s hard work by other members of your club. It should encourage others to set their sights higher for the coming year. They might consider working for this very special recognition.

Remember that this is not just club recognition. Compose a worthy nomination and forward it to your District Governor before July 1 for consideration for the district awards. The Governors determine the district award winners and then submit them to your Region. Show your pride in recognizing these community leaders by participating in these two programs. Be proud to be a Sertoman.

Pat McArdle
Sertoma Treasurer


The most often asked question in Sertoma is “How do we get people to join?”  The answer to that is depends on the more important question of “Why, why does your club exists?”  In asking someone to join the club, volunteer for service, or donate you are asking them to share in your why. Identifying a strong, compelling connection to your why is how you get people to join or be involved.

The same is true if your club is struggling with a lack of energy and enthusiasm. Are the current members excited and engaged with the club’s why? If not, ask your members, ask yourself, what is the “why of your club?”  Does it excite you? Is it clear the difference it makes in your life, and in the community? Can you readily share that with others? If not then you know why you are not growing, and what you need to do.

The key is understanding that as a service organization, your why has to about service and philanthropy.  To be compelling, your service and philanthropy is shared as the outcomes it has in the lives of people and the community.  The strength of your why is defined by the scale and significance of those outcomes.  People who volunteer and donate, and especially those who join, are looking to be part of something larger and more important than they could possibly do alone.

So to answer the question “how do we get people to join?” (1) Identify your why.  If it is not clear, compelling, or strong – then recreate, reinvent, or define a new why.  That process can be a great way to engage with your members and others in the community.  (2) find a great story that tells your why – and the why of the club.  Not sure how?  Then come to the Sertoma 2015 Convention in April. (3) Share that story – get out of the club and into the community.  Don’t expect prospects to come to you and your meeting. The focus of a strong club is going to be out in the community, not in their meetings.

Not sure you believe this?  Look around, those clubs that are not struggling are clearly identified in their communities for what they do and who they help.  The members are excited and enjoy the work and expectations that make that happen, and that is attractive to potential members.  As a good friend shared with me – “If you understand your why, you can identify and manage the how to make that happen.”

Steven Murphy
Executive Director

Club Elections

BARTLEMAY,-Don5Electing good leaders for our clubs is one of the most important functions a Sertoma Club can do each year. Recruiting and recognizing good leaders for a club can be difficult and not to be taken lightly. A poor leader or leaders can stymie growth and the fulfillment of our Mission.

Election process for new officers should be underway for the 2015 – 2016 Sertoma year. Elections should take place in March, so our new leaders are in place by our Sertoma Convention in mid- April. Each club should make an effort to send the new Sertoma leaders to convention, for training and getting them started on the right foot for the functions they perform as a leader of their club.

I would encourage a committee of Past Presidents or experienced club leaders meet and work to recognize unique talents of individuals to fill positions in the club that will benefit both the individual and the club.

Every club should budget funds within the club’s means to send their leaders, particularly new leaders to conventions. Our leaders must be effective, and training will help achieve that goal. Please encourage your new leaders by supporting them financially and personally to attend convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We now have a plan: Get our new leaders in place and send them to convention for training. Following that we need to have two way communications with these leaders between them and Sertoma. Our home office needs to know who these leaders are for your club. I would challenge every club secretary to send in their Form 130, to Headquarters, copying their District Governor. We are only as good as the information we have. Old information on club leaders leaves all involved at a disadvantage. These forms which are available at www.Sertoma.org/forms, should be sent in as soon as possible following your club election.

Don Bartelmay
Senior Vice-President
Sertoma, Inc.

Little acts lead to big impact

me n grandpaSamantha Freer – a proud Sertoman and member of PLAY Sertoma Club- saw the Hearing Aid Donation project, as an opportunity to honor her grandpa, Sam McCoun, a selfless individual who always wanted to help others. Samantha shared that when she asked her grandma for her grandpa’s hearing aid to recycle, her grandma cried said that would be wonderful and grandpa would think that would be great. I know without a doubt he is super happy to be helping someone, even after his passing.

AND because Samantha shared her story with the nursing home, they have requested a Hearing Aid Donation display and brochures to help collect used hearing aids. Please honor your fellow Sertoman, promote the Hearing Aid Donation Project in your local community, and share the joy of hearing.


Come Join Me

Come join me in Raleigh, North Carolina for our annual meeting and convention.

Johnson, DavidApril is right around the corner and so is our convention and annual meeting. As we prepare for this event I would like us each to reflect on how we got to this point in life. How we became responsible adults, to know the difference between doing this or that, and what direction we should be go.

Many of us grew up with a mom and a dad telling us stories. Our parents would read to us at a young age the nursery rhymes that we in turn shared with our kids and grandkids. Many of us have heard stories from our relatives about the wars, The Great Depression, and other historical or familial events. So, I want to ask, “How many Sertomans have a rewarding experience to share? What is one fascinating thing your club does in your community? What exciting project do you do for fundraising? What other activities do you support in your hometowns? Can you tell your story? We need to be about Sertoma’s business of spread the exciting experiences happening in our communities.

Imagine now if we assembled hundreds of Sertomans and their stories, and shared them with one another. Could we start a movement? Perhaps change the world? Of course we could, and we have.

We need to do more to tell our story to the rest of the world. That is what April 16th -18th in Raleigh, North Carolina is all about. Plan to come and share your stories about the people you have made a difference in the lives. Learn how to put your story together and share Sertoma with the world around us.

Wishes Do Come True
In the summer of 2014, we learned from Sertomans about our organization. One thing became clear: the good work we do as Sertomans. We need to share our successes with others in our community. Our focus group participants, and others throughout Sertoma, have asked us for convention training that helps them become better communicators. Their wish was for more people to see and hear about the wonderful work Sertoma does in communities. Our Sertoma 2015 convention will help you tell YOUR stories and engage your community, while stimulating your creative juices. Bring a sharp pencil! You will not want to miss this and will want to write down every word. Whether you are active in communicating on behalf of your club or not, everyone will benefit from this year’s convention programming.

Who Should Attend

• Past, present and future leaders always benefit from sharing ideas with other leaders.
• Members who communicate club activities and events can learn about new tools and tactics from industry professionals.
• New Sertomans who want to fully understand the dynamic history of our organization will hear many of the stories that built our great organization.

I invite each of you to continue the positive Sertoma experience and join me and other Sertomans in Raleigh to learn, share and grow this 102 year old organization and expand our presence in our communities for our 2nd century of service.

As the Ears Go By: A Mild Reception

This is the third post in this series, click here to read the previous post
By Jim Sharrick

Well, come Christmas, I’ll have had my cochlear implant activated a full six months Right off the bat, I’ll answer the question asked most, “No, I don’t understand speech through my implant alone yet”. I’m in no way bummed and pretty much anticipated this result at this time. Testing with the audiologist has shown a marked improvement in speech understanding in environments with competing sounds. Deb, my wife has verified this, so it is therefore accurate. I hadn’t noticed. Since it has been brought to my attention I can tell the difference. The speech pathologist tests show I can differentiate sorta’- kinda’ accurately. I differentiate which sentence she is reading when shown the sentence in writing. The staff seems to be okay with my progress, so I’m good with the “Jim’s doing alright” narrative. That’s nice, boring, but nice. Let’s talk about the unexpected results, because they are much more interesting.

First of all, there is no sense of distance to the source of a sound. The most reliably accurate sound I get is percussion from the radio. Bass drum, tom-toms, tambourines, high-hat cymbals, etc. it’s all there, and right on tempo. I don’t even use the speaker on the driver’s side of the car, and yet the left ear picks up every beat as if I were wearing headphones, even though the speaker is on the passenger door across the way. The sound seems to originate right in the brain. One of the first experiments I tried was to stand next to the road to see if I could detect on-coming traffic. It’s like the old WWII movies said, I won’t hear the car that gets me. This could change over time.

Secondly, and it’s hard to explain, it feels like half my brain is activated by wearing the processor. I don’t know if it’s just the activity of having the auditory nerve stimulated, but it’s pretty dead upstairs when I’m not wearing the processor. (For those of you who know me, insert your joke here.)

Next, the ringing in the implanted ear has dropped in pitch. It’s gone from the old style TV tube whistle to more of noise-induced ringing, say like from loud music or industrial machinery. It’s not important, just different.

The most important thing I’ve learned, and changed, is my listening strategy. As my hearing declined, all my efforts went toward enhancing speech sounds, and dampening competing sounds. I was discussing (whining) with the audiologist that I could hear keyboarding. She semi-exasperatedly exclaimed that she could, too! It hit me at that moment that now I have to be open to all sounds in order to allow my brain to sort and prioritize inputs, just the same as you standardly-hearing folk do. That’s the opposite of what I’ve done the last quarter-century.

Finally, the information everyone asks, “Are you being tracked electronically via the implant?” I can’t say for certain. I do know this, at every mall, at every truck stop, and every tourist attraction, I wind up seeing a map that says “YOU ARE HERE”. Coincidence? I think not. Trust no one.

Last Chance for Charitable Giving

ChernyCherylColor (3)Are you a procrastinator like me and like 33% of the world who donates on December 31st?  No worries, you still have time to donate.

Sertomans are very charitable people.  They give of their time, talent and treasure throughout the year. Sertomans touch so many people and that is one of the many reasons I am proud to say that I am a Sertoman. Clap!

If you are still considering making donations before the tax deadline, please keep in mind the Sertoma Annual Fund. Funds are used to support our scholarships, grants, SAFEEars!®, A Sound Investment, and other hearing health programs. Over the past ten years, the Annual Fund has provided over 800 scholarships, more than $1,000,000 in grants, and provided information to more than 300,000 individuals on how to protect their hearing.

Sertoma awards 50 $1,000 scholarships each year to graduate students pursuing degrees in audiology or speech-language pathology. Sertoma provides more funds nationally, for graduate students studying communicative disorders, than any other single organization.

Sertoma awards 50 $1,000 scholarships each year to undergraduate students who are hard of hearing or deaf, attending a four-year college or university, who have clinically significant bilateral hearing loss.

In addition, Sertoma awards approximately $100,000 in Community Grants to organizations that belong to the national Adopt-an-Agency program. These organizations, also known as affiliates, are nonprofit hearing health organizations that have established a relationship with a Sertoma club or have an independent relationship with Sertoma. Community Grants are awarded for any amount between $2,500 and $5,000, for a hearing related program, project, or equipment.

If you are part of the 66% of the population who have already donated, thank you!  For the remaining 33% of us, please join me in donating on or before December 31st by either writing a check or visiting the website at http://www.sertoma.org/donate. Wishing you and yours all the best in 2015 and always.

Cheryl Cherny
Sertoma Junior Vice-President

What Does Our Annual Fund Fund?

Larsen, DebbyEvery year we donate to the United Way, the Cancer Society, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the list goes on and on.  Do you ask them where the money is going?  I would guess to say that you do not.  You believe that it is going to a necessary and worthy cause.  Well Sertoma has a worthy cause and it is called our Sertoma Annual Fund.  There are many questions out there regarding this fund and we have volunteers who help us educate Sertomans.  I hope that each of your clubs ask the Fundraising District Representative (FDR) to attend one of your meetings and have this individual as your guest speaker.

We should be very proud of what Sertoma does with our funds to assist our Mission.  These include:

  1. 50 $1,000 scholarships for hard of hearing or deaf students who have clinically significant bilateral hearing loss. Graduating high school seniors or undergraduate students must be pursuing a four-year degree to apply.
  2. 50 $1,000 scholarships for graduate students who have been accepted into a graduate level program in audiology or speech-language pathology in the United States.

Sertoman’s should be very proud that we provide $50,000 for graduate level study in communications disorders, more than any other single organization in the nation. Each year we have more than the 90 applications.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could give more?

  1. Every Sertoma club can establish a relationship with a non-profit hearing and speech facility. This is called Adopt-an-Agency. This program helps support the professional staff and their programs at these facilities. Each facility can submit a grant for hearing health projects between $2,500 and $5,000. They can also apply for a Professional Education Grant ($425 per fiscal year).
  2. CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence® is our new national fund and awareness event to promote hearing health in our communities. Half of the proceeds support’s the local community project(s) and the other half goes to support our scholarships, grants and public awareness campaigns.
  3.  Looping is a technology that has taken Europe by storm. Sertoma has decided to help educate and loop America. A Sound Investment is a public awareness campaign that each club can use. Looping allows hearing assistive devices to serve as wireless loudspeakers, delivering clear, sharp, customized sound right from inside the ears.
  4.  SAFEEars!® is an educational awareness program designed to motivate young people and adults to take action against noise-induced hearing loss.
  5.  Through Hearing Charities of America (a subsidiary of Sertoma), we now have a donation center for hearing aids. You can go to www.hearingaiddonations.org.

Our Sertoma Annual Fund is doing outstanding things for our communities. Please consider a donation, participate in a CELEBRATE SOUND Don’t Walk in Silence event or put on a looping demonstration at a local venue like a church.

As Sertomans we need to get the word out about hearing health. Let’s do this together to make a difference!

Debby Larsen
Sertoma President Elect

Form 990

BARTLEMAY,-Don5One of the most important functions that your club does every year is to file a Form 990 with the IRS. EVERY club must file based on the gross revenues raised by the club. If you do not file this form your club will lose it’s 501 (c)3 status as a charity and will not legally be able to raise revenue. Here are the requirements on what and who must file each type of form.

- Clubs with gross revenues raised in excess of $200,000 must file a form 990

- Clubs with gross revenues raised in between $50,000 and $200,000 must file a form 990-EZ

- Clubs with gross revenues raised under $50,000 must file a form 990-N

Your club’s respective form must be FILED BY NOV. 15, which is the 15th of the month of the 5th month past the end of our fiscal year. (If you have an extenuating circumstance,  you may request an extension from the IRS –  form 8868.) You may not extend the form 990-N, which is a postcard, there is no penalty, the IRS will send a reminder to file. The good news, ALL the information and forms are available on the Sertoma web site,( http://www.sertoma.org ) plus a 5 page downloadable instruction sheet on how to fill it in ,created by Sertoma. There is a training site for non-profits created by the IRS to teach volunteers about basic tax compliance (www.stayexempt.org ) There is a wealth of information to help you, please use it. We would ask EVERY club to do “Due Diligence” and make sure your treasurer has these forms filed. When we do not follow through, it causes huge problems and a great deal of work to get a club’s tax exempt status back. By staying on top of this we can save a lot time that can be used to advance our Mission of Hearing Health. Don Bartelmay Sertoma Sr. Vice President