ALBANY -- Members of the Exchange Club of Albany take many things seriously -- child abuse prevention, support of community organizations and building character in youth.
About themselves, however, they aren't all that serious.
Hearing loss and hearing aids aren't usually laughable subjects.
When a speaker from The Hearing Center at Albany ENT, Monica B. Mennite, held to her script the club members listened. They also chose to engage in good-natured repartee.
Mennite had points to get across at her appearance before the club.
She wanted everyone to protect their ears and have their hearing checked once a year.
Because many Exchangites hunt and because noise exposure adds greatly to hearing loss, Mennite educated hunters on prevention equipment they could use.
"Hunting earplugs are specially custom made to an individual's ears," Mennite said. "They allow you to hear everything, but when you shoot there is a valve that closes up to protect the ear."
When Mennite said that hearing loss was more prevalent with men than women, someone in the audience said, "That's because we have to listen to women."
Full disclosure: the names of some Exchangites have been left out of this story in the interest of marital harmony.
Another member had a question.
"My wife has a hearing aid. When I talk to her in a normal voice two or three times, she acts like she can't hear. When I raise my voice, she says, 'You don't have to shout at me.' What can I do?"
Mennite suggested the Exchangite and his wife come in to have the hearing aid checked.
Mennite said her facility is offering a free "Lunch and Learn" 12:30 p.m. event Nov. 19. Anyone interested can call (229) 435-9790.
In other business the Exchange Club handed out two $500 checks to support local community organizations: The Anchorage, an organization dedicated to alcohol and drug rehabilitation and Albany Community Hospice.
The national Exchange Club honored two of the Albany club's members for their exceptional work supporting the club and its mission to fight child abuse in the last fiscal year. Bill Banks was recognized as a distinguished club secretary and Ray Hinman as a distinguished treasurer.