As many of you know, our youngest daughter, Harper, was born deaf. When we found out this news, our audiologist (Dr Ward) mentioned this special school in Roseville, MN called, "Northern Voices"
When Harper was 9 mos old, we brought her to the school to begin her journey. She sat on our laps while her teacher, Tanya, worked on getting Harper to turn her head to look at various noises. At the time, Harper had (2) little hearing aids. They really didn't benefit her, but we all kept trying for those head-turns and any sort of recognition of sound.
When Harper turned 18 mos old, she was finally a candidate for a cochlear implant! We had the surgery done at Wisconsin Children's Hospital because we fell in love with their facility, staff, and doctors. Even though it meant (10) trips to Milwaukee over the next year, we didn't complain once. Especially on "Activation Day" which happens a few months post-op. Harper was about two years old when this happened. It was the first time in her life that she could hear. As soon as she was dialed-in, she enrolled full-time at Northern Voices.
Soon those celebrated head-turns turned into bits of words and sounds. She was finding her voice! Harper spent the next 3 years at this amazing school and graduated in the spring of 2015. She'd be starting kindergarten at our neighborhood school, Countryside that fall. She had caught her hearing peers in that short time and she was ready to go. All thanks to Northern Voices.
This private school doesn't receive any funds from the state. It relies solely on tuition, grants, and donations. However, many families cannot afford the $30K/year tuition cost.
I wanted to help. I had been doing "MN Cars & Coffee" for about 7 years, so I decided to parlay the show into a car rally.
"The Cannonball Run" movie (circa 1981) was my all-time favorite movie as a kid. I remember seeing it at least (4) times in the theatre. To pay homage to that film, I created the "Kannonball Rally"!
So, what is a car rally? Its like the "Amazing Race" but in cars . Teams are given a route booklet at the start. They'll follow a specific route (on some incredible roads) and partake in various checkpoint challenges, riddles, and activities. Most of the teams are car fanatics, but we have a few that just love the challenges and commerodery. Plus, each team vehicle has a custom "livery" kit (decals), so you'll be able to spot their psuedo race cars on rally day!
On June 5th, launching from "MN Cars & Coffee" at 9:30AM at Canterbury Park, the 7th annual Kannonball Rally will begin!
To-date, we have all raised over $200K for Northern Voices. If you are able, please help Team Harper Christopherson by donating today :)
Help support Northern Voices, a non-profit education center for young children with hearing loss!