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Skiers race against hearing loss with Julie Parisien


BRIDGTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Hear ME Now Center held their 12th annual fundraiser called Break the Sound Barrier Sunday at Shawnee Peak.

Skiers raced for the fastest time and raised money for Hear ME Now, Maine's leading auditory oral education center for children and adults with hearing loss.

Hearing loss is one of the most common birth defect in the state of Maine. It affects 3 out of every 1,000 children. But thanks to advances in technology, such as cochlear impalnts, individuals with hearing loss can communicate better than ever before. 

According to Hear Me Now's Executive Director, Pam Dawson, "the changes that have happened, especially over the last 10 years, are really just incredible. If a child is diagnosed with a hearing loss soon after birth -- which happens often now because all babies are screened in the hospital now for hearing loss -- and they received the early intervention and the amplification that they need... They can be mainstreamed and be listening and talking with all of their hearing peers," said Dawson.

Julie Parisien, former Olympic and World Cup slalom champion, competed in the event today and her four children were there to watch her race.

"This is a wonderful organization. Lots of fun people involved and I really hope that we can keep getting bigger and bigger. Next year I invite anybody to come out and challenge me on this hill," said Parisien. "I'm not going to get any faster, the older I get, so if you want to beat an olympian you have to come soon."

Julie had the fastest time 25.49

Fastest female: Sarah Novick 28.16
Fastest male: Gregg Novick. 26.67
Fastest under: 14. Ella Novick 27.15

Fastest team: Blue Mooners

Top fundraising team: Albin Randall & Bennett over $6000

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