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Summit Speech School Hosts 23rd Annual Spring Benefit

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Committee Co-Chair Christine Preston (left) and member Courtney Blundin, both of Madison, and Co-Chair Kara Kraeutler (right) with Summit Speech School preschoolers Taylor Land-Grimsley (left) and Ramya Chandra.
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Summit Speech School’s 23rd Annual Spring Benefit will be held Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, NJ.  The event is co-chaired by Christine Preston of Madison and Kara Kraeutler of Convent Station, and will feature presentations by fine jewelry and handbag designer Kara Ross.

A certified gemologist, Kara Ross has used diamonds, pearls, and 18kt gold to create one-of-a-kind custom pieces for private clients – including President Obama and the First Lady, for whom she created exclusive gifts made from magnolia wood that originated from the White House lawn. Her fine jewelry can now be seen at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and in Ruth Peltason’s book Living Jewels – Masterpieces from Nature.  Her upcoming exhibits include Forbes Gallery, Cooper-Hewitt, and the Gemological Institute of America.

Her work has been featured internationally in top fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W, and Elle. Celebrity fans include Kate Hudson, Hilary Swank, Cameron Diaz, Eva Mendes, Kate Beckinsale, Eva Longoria, Anne Hathaway, Demi Moore, Oprah, Jill Biden, and Michelle Obama.

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The Spring Benefit will also recognize two special co-honorees – Neil Kleinwaks, owner of JC Klein Estate Jewelry and Neil’s All American Grill in Bridgewater, and Abel Flores, proprietor of Florez Tobacconist in Summit. Both have been loyal and enthusiastic friends of Summit Speech School for many years and each has sponsored an annual golf tournament to raise money in support of the School’s programs. Over the years, they’ve generated a combined total of more than $100,000 in contributions.

The popular silent and ticket auctions include experiences, trips, concerts, events, gourmet dining, gift certificates and so much more.  The 23rd Annual Spring Benefit offers lunch and dinner seatings.  For reservations call Summit Speech School, 908-508-0495, email cheenan@summitspeech.org.

Generous sponsorship support for the event has been received from C. R. Bard, Bayview Foundation, Judith E. Campbell, Celgene Corporation, Cochlear Americas, Dearhaven Fund, Hendricks & Hendricks Attorneys at Law, Investors Bank, Gloria LaGrassa – Pluckemin Inn, The MCJ Amelior Foundation, PNC Wealth Management, Prospect Hill Foundation, and Sandy Hill Foundation.

About Summit Speech School

Founded in 1967, Summit Speech School teaches deaf and hard of hearing children to listen and speak for themselves, so they can succeed as part of the hearing world.  The School works with children and their families, from infancy through high school, to develop skills in listening, learning, and communicating, building on the student’s own hearing ability supplemented with modern technology such as hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Summit Speech School offers three educational programs – a Parent/Infant Program that works individually with children and their primary caregivers from birth to 3 years of age, a Preschool for children 3-5 years old that prepares them to enter mainstream schools in kindergarten or first grade, and a Mainstream Support Program serving children in grades K-12 in local schools throughout northern and central New Jersey.  An in-house Audiology Center specializes in working with children so their hearing can be tested properly and assistance provided if they need it.

The School currently serves about 200 children.  Over the years, its students have shown remarkable success in building happy and productive lives that transcend their hearing loss.

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