In 2015, Herschel and Donna Martin’s grandson heard on the radio that Concept by Iowa Hearing Aid Centers was having a drawing to win free hearing aids every day at the Iowa State Fair. He knew that his grandfather, Herschel, needed hearing aids, so he decided to get the whole family involved. They planned a trip for everyone to go to the Fair on opening day.
On the first day of the Iowa State Fair, the Martin’s daughter found Concept’s mobile hearing unit, and called Donna, saying, “Bring Dad over here right away!” While Herschel was getting a brief, free hearing screening on the mobile hearing unit, everyone in the family that was eligible entered him in the contest to win. “I always thought we’d never win anything at the State Fair, but we entered anyway,” said Donna.
The next day, Concept’s founder, Duane Flagel, announced that Herschel won the hearing aids from the previous day’s drawing. “We couldn’t believe it,” said Donna. “It was a miracle to win! And we feel so blessed to have won.” Donna also recalls that they “got lots of phone calls” from family and friends congratulating them.
A few days after winning, Herschel and Donna went to Concept’s West Des Moines clinic to have his full hearing screening. “At first, I was a little concerned that he wouldn’t wear them,” said Donna. She heard that new hearing aid wearers are sometimes overwhelmed when they can hear things like birds chirping and leaves rustling again, and stop wearing their hearing aids. When they got home after Herschel was fitted with his hearing aids, Donna’s worry was immediately eased. The first thing Herschel said was, “Wow, the TV is loud!” as he turned the television volume down.
Since winning, Herschel has visited the West Des Moines clinic several times. “Everyone has been wonderful, and has gone over and beyond to care for us,” Herschel says. The adjustments and free lifetime hearing aid aftercare have ensured that Herschel doesn’t miss out on what his family says to him.