Julie McKelvey, franchise owner of 32 Miracle-Ear hearing centers across Pennsylvania, has climbed three out of the seven summits. Her most recent climb in 2021 took place on Mt. Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America, where she raised $41,009 to support the Miracle-Ear Foundation's Gift of Sound hearing aid program. In 2020, Julie also climbed Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas at 22,841 feet, and raised $30,424 to support the Miracle-Ear Foundation in providing free hearing aids to underserved adults and children with hearing loss.
“Aconcagua was my most challenging climb to date, but it was also the most rewarding. Being able to combine my passion for climbing with my passion for raising money and awareness for the Foundation has been an honor and a privilege,” said McKelvey. “More than seven million people who need hearing aids cannot afford them. My goal is that every person who comes into one of my offices with a hearing loss should be able to get help, even if they cannot afford the help.”
In 2018, Julie climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa (19,341 feet) and raised $56,000 – providing hundreds of hearing aids to those in need. In total, she plans to climb the seven highest summits on each continent in the world to raise money for the Gift of Sound.
“I’m continually inspired by the bold ways our Miracle-Ear franchisees show their passion for helping those with hearing loss,” said Jenni Hargraves, vice president of the Miracle-Ear Foundation. “Taking on the challenge to summit these mountains is impressive by itself. Adding on the component of raising awareness and money for the Foundation shows just how personal Julie’s commitment is to helping others hear.”
The Miracle-Ear Foundation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has plans to help more people than ever.