The Yakima Hearing and Speech Center sees over three thousand patients a year. Over ninety percent are children under five, and close to 70 percent receive some sort of government assistance. That's why a $28,000 gift from the Yakima Masonic Charities is welcomed.  Lois Betzing, President of the Hearing and Speech Center's board says part of the money will be used to improve the electronic medical records equipment and it will be used for an Auditory Brainstem Response Audiometer.  The ABR is used to evaluate the status of the hearing of newborns that do not pass the hearing screening test given at birth.

Jim Sharples with Yakima Masonic Charities says for years local donations were sent to Seattle.  hes glad to be able to give money to help local citizens. "We've given thousands of dollars over the years with most of the money going to outside the area, now we can earmark our money for Yakima."