Starkey Hearing Foundation Raises $7.2 Million During 11th Annual Star-Studded Gala Event, So The World May Hear

Monies Raised to Fund Hearing Health and Awareness Initiatives Designed to Foster Greater Understanding Among People

President Bill Clinton, Marlee Matlin, Doug Pitt, and Randy Hogan Honored for Humanitarian Efforts, Attendees Treated to Performances by Miley Cyrus, Reba, John Rich, Meat Loaf, Kevin Costner & Modern West, and LIBERA

Jul 25, 2011, 18:30 ET from Starkey Hearing Foundation

MINNEAPOLIS, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

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On Sunday, July 24, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, whose mission – so the world may hear – helps foster greater understanding among people through hearing, raised $7.2 million during its annual So The World May Hear gala held at the St. Paul RiverCentre – the most monies raised to date. The 11th annual event also attracted the largest contingent of celebrity supporters since the event began, with notables from the worlds of entertainment, sports and philanthropy walking the red carpet, and celebrating the spirit of giving and understanding through hearing.

Due to the event's successful fundraising efforts, which exceeded last year's total monies raised, the Starkey Hearing Foundation announced it will fund two return hearing missions to Haiti and Israel. In addition, the monies raised during the 2011 gala will be used entirely to fund the Starkey Hearing Foundation's various hearing health and awareness campaigns throughout the year, including their domestic and international hearing missions; Listen Carefully campaign to promote safe listening among young people; and a variety of other endeavors all designed to foster improved communication and understanding among individuals and their communities.

A record number of 1,600+ guests attended the gala, which included a strong showing of support for the Foundation's efforts by an extensive number of celebrities and notables, including:

Film/Television:  Whoopi Goldberg, Patricia Arquette, Julia Ormond, Maria Bello, Maggie Grace, Gary Busey, Lou Ferrigno, Verne Troyer, Kyle Massey, Chris Massey, Kevin Sorbo, Mindy Sterns, and Alan Kalter

Music/Entertainment: John Rich, Jordin Sparks, Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles, Merrill Osmond, and Trevor McFredies

Sports: Michael Irvin, Larry Fitzgerald, Roy Williams, Johnnie Knox, Shojon Podein, Chad Greenway, Dennis Rasmussen, Tommie Harris, Ed Moses, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, and Michelle Lau

Art, Literature and History: Scott Carpenter, Amy Tan, Bill Mack, Harvey Mackey

Through its hearing missions, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has made it its goal to deliver more than 1,000,000 hearing aids to those in need during this decade. To demonstrate the instant miracle of hearing that takes place when a child hears his or her mother's voice for the first time after being fitted with a hearing aid, the Foundation presented video highlights throughout the evening of hearing missions conducted throughout 2011, including special visits to Haiti, Africa and Israel-Palestine.

During the gala, guests were also treated to performances by an illustrious list of artists including Reba, Meat Loaf and Miley Cyrus, who participated in Starkey's Hearing Mission to Haiti earlier this year and as a result, lent her support to the Foundation's Listen Carefully campaign. John Rich surprised attendees with a special performance with Marlee Matlin. Kevin Costner & Modern West also served as the headliner for the gala's after-party.

The event also included the recognition of specially-chosen honorees whose unwavering commitment to helping others, and relentless giving of their time and energies, have led to positive changes on behalf of people all over the world. They include:

  • President Bill Clinton, Founding Chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative and 42nd President of the United States –  A long-time supporter of the Foundation and its goal so the world may hear, President Clinton is well known for his commitment to public service, and tireless efforts to raise awareness, funding and support for communities and countries in need around the world. Specifically, the Starkey Hearing Foundation is honoring President Clinton for the success of his Clinton Global Initiative, which he started in 2005 to channel the good intentions of philanthropists, humanitarians and industry leaders into innovative solutions that address some of the world's most pressing challenges.

  • Marlee Matlin, Oscar-winning Actress and Humanitarian – Another long-time friend and supporter of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Marlee Matlin has included charity endeavors along with her acting throughout her career. With a focus on children's charities, and being instrumental in getting legislation passed in Congress in support of Closed Captioning, Marlee is being honored for her extensive work across so many critical areas. Most recently, Matlin selected the Starkey Hearing Foundation as her charity of choice on this season's "The Celebrity Apprentice," and with the help of her team, raised the most for any charity in the show's history.  

  • Doug Pitt, Humanitarian and Photo Journalist –  Known for his charity work, and support for related events and causes, Doug Pitt enjoys using his time and talents to help people in need, particularly those causes with a focus on providing clean water to the people of Africa. In addition to his ongoing humanitarian work, Doug is also being honored for serving as the first Goodwill Ambassador for the United Republic of Tanzania.

  • Randall J. Hogan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pentair – As a global leader in providing innovative products and systems in the water and technical products segment, Minnesota-based Pentair has been instrumental in putting its resources to work on behalf of those in need. The company's community efforts have focused on providing clean water solutions for third world countries, as well as relief efforts following natural disasters.  

"It is our belief that helping people is the best work one can ever do," said Bill Austin, Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation. "As such, we recognize those leading the way in serving others with their own talents and abilities."

About The Starkey Hearing Foundation

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is striving to change the social consciousness of hearing and hearing loss prevention.  Hearing loss affects one in 10 Americans, and 63 million children worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help correct that disability.  The Foundation now delivers more than 100,000 hearing aids through hearing missions in countries stretching from the U.S. to Vietnam.  Since 2000, the Foundation has supplied more than 500,000 hearing aids to people in need and is striving to achieve its goal of distributing over one million free hearing aids in this decade.  In addition to giving the gift of hearing, the Foundation also works diligently to promote 'safe hearing' through two unique programs - the recently launched Listen Carefully campaign, aimed at preventing hearing loss among teens and young people; and the Sound Matters™ program, which with the help of partners such as Best Buy, the Grammy Foundation and others within the music and entertainment industry, seeks to raise social awareness of healthy hearing, prevention of hearing damage, and regular hearing check-ups.  For more information on the Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit


Rosalie M. Hagel / Lauren Murley

M. Silver Associates Inc.


SOURCE Starkey Hearing Foundation