For nearly five years, the McAlester Scottish Rite Masons have worked to provide a place to help children in the Ardmore area who have difficulty communicating.
That place is known as the Rite Care Clinic of Ardmore, and provides speech, language and reading services to children who need it most, at no cost to their families. Open two days a week, children under the age of 12 receive one-on-one sessions with a speech language pathologist through tele-therapy, the use of a video-calling program.
“We’ve been in Ardmore since 2009 and we’ve been serving kids since that time,” says Mason Larry Roberts. “Now, we use the Skype internet service with a speech therapist in McAlester and the kids here in Ardmore.”
For years the clinic has depended on donations from the McAlester Scottish Rite Charitable and Education Foundation and from the local community. Like the adaption of providing services through the internet, the Masons are now hosting the first community fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for the Rite Care Clinic of Ardmore.
The first Rite Care Clinic of Ardmore 5K Fun Run will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday at Regional Park, with race-day registration starting at 6:30 a.m. There is a $30 participation fee, and the first 200 participants receive a T-shirt.
Early registration and packet pickup will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Masonic Lodge, 1032 Cherry St. NW. There will also be a spaghetti dinner that is free to each runner and by donation from the public. Proceeds from the dinner and run will benefit the local clinic.
The Rite Care Clinic of Ardmore is an outreach clinic for the Scottish Rite Masons, with the main clinic located in McAlester. Roberts says for years a successful 5K fundraiser has taken place in McAlester to benefit its clinic. The Ardmore-based Masons aspire to have similar results.
Roberts says the goal is to have around 130 participants come out for the Saturday run. Ultimately, the Masons strive for increasing community aware of the services provided through the Rite Care Clinic of Ardmore.
“We are just hoping to put the Rite Care Clinic more in front of the public, and we want to raise some funds,” Roberts said.
Those interested in the clinic’s services or to register for the run can call the clinic’s office at (580) 224-9943 or clinic director Ashley Monks at (918) 426-2300.