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Local Miracle-Ear franchisee summits Mt. Denali to raises money for foundation

Julie McKelvey, owner of 34 Miracle-Ear stores across Pennsylvania, including one in Loyalsock, and Miracle-Ear Foundation board member, completed her fifth of the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each continent in the world), Mt. Denali in Alaska earlier this week.

The 53-year-old Harrisburg native has combined her passion for both climbing and helping others by creating Summit for Sound. Together with the Miracle-Ear Foundation, McKelvey’s Summit for Sound raises funds to give the gift of hearing aids to adults and children who otherwise cannot afford them. To date, she has raised over $150,000 which has helped hundreds of people in Pennsylvania receive free hearing aids.

The Miracle-Ear Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Miracle-Ear and helps those who are in need of hearing aids but cannot afford them. The program benefits underserved Americans with a limited income and no other resources for hearing aids, such as insurance, Medicaid, VA, or other state or federal programs. The $150,000 Julie has raised will allow hundreds of patients to receive the Gift of Sound and a lifetime of follow-up services at no cost.

“This journey to complete the Seven Summits has been an incredible adventure and gift in my life,” said McKelvey. “When I’m up in high altitude and confronting challenges, it reminds me of all of the hurdles those who are hearing-impaired face. In the really tough moments, helping give them the gift of sound is what keeps me going.”

This fall McKelvey plans to complete her sixth summit: Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, the highest peak on the Oceania continent. In April 2023 she will climb the tallest peak in the world, Mt. Everest. Scaling this mountain will make her part of an elite group of just 4,000 mountaineers who have climbed the 29,032-foot summit. Even rarer among the mountaineering community is scaling all seven summits, with only around 416 people across the world having done so, and less than 70 women, according to the most recent counts. McKelvey has only two summits remaining to reach that elite status, Carstensz Pyramid and Mt. Everest.

“Julie continues to inspire me with her determination and passion, not only to provide the gift of sound to those in need, but also to scale these challenging summits,” said Jenni Hargraves, vice president of the Miracle-Ear Foundation. “Her philanthropic commitment serves as a shining example for both our board and our entire organization.”

Since 1990, the Miracle-Ear Foundation has delivered the Gift of Sound™ through more than 34,000 hearing aids and to more than 18,000 children and adults across the country. There are approximately 1,500 Miracle-Ear stores throughout the country.

For more information, or to learn about how you can apply for the Gift of Sound, please visit the Miracle-Ear Foundation website. To follow Julie’s quest to Climb the Seven Summits and learn how you can lend support, please visit her Facebook page.

Since its founding in 1990, Miracle-Ear Foundation has donated more than 34,000 hearing aids to more than 18,000 children and adults nationwide, who could otherwise not afford them. Through the generous support of Miracle-Ear franchise owners and donors, the foundation delivers life-changing services, bringing the Gift of Sound to an increasing number of people in need each year. For more information, visit www.miracle-earfoundation.org.

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