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Elton John, funny man Billy Crystal and recording legends

 Gladys Knight, Elton John, Billy Crystal and Tony Bennett.


Celebrities to Gather to Support the
Ninth Annual Starkey Hearing Foundation
“So the World May Hear” Awards Gala

July 12, 2009


EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.—For the ninth consecutive year, internationally acclaimed celebrities will come together to help Starkey Hearing Foundation, the global leader in delivering the gift of hearing, raise money to support its mission of providing hearing instruments to underprivileged children and promoting hearing health research and education. The celebrities will gather for the Foundation’s annual “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala, taking place on Sunday, July 12 at the RiverCentre, located at 175 Kellogg Blvd. W. in St. Paul.

The spectacular evening, which will include a taste of Hollywood with a celebrity red carpet, live and silent auctions and star-studded entertainment, will include performances by multiple Grammy-winning superstar Elton John, funny man Billy Crystal and recording legends Gladys Knight and Tony Bennett. Additional celebrity guests will include actors Leslie Nielsen, Lou Ferrigno and Robert Culp; TV personalities Alan Kalter and Paige Hemmis; astronaut Buzz Aldrin; golf legend Arnold Palmer; 1961 Yankees teammates Moose Skowron, Whitey Ford, Bobby Richardson, and Bob Turley as well as Mickey Mantle’s son David Mantle; Southern Methodist University head football coach June Jones; songwriter Paul Williams; performer Sam Moore; comedian Norm Crosby; and many others. In addition, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Marilyn and Dr. Glen Nelson, Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, and members of the Minnesota Vikings will also attend.

The evening will also include the Foundation’s recognition of four individuals and one corporation who have each made a significant contribution to humanity. This year’s honorees will include original
rat-packer and comedian Norm Crosby, the 1961 New York Yankees, Minnesota philanthropists and business leaders Marilyn and
Dr. Glen Nelson, and Rayovac, a long-time supporter of
Starkey Hearing Foundation.

The “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala serves as Starkey Hearing Foundation’s primary fundraising event. Last year, the Gala raised a record $5 million. Monies raised at the Gala help fund the Foundation’s international hearing mission trips. Every year, the Foundation distributes more than 50,000 hearing instruments at more than 100 hearing missions in countries stretching from the U.S. to Vietnam.

The 2009 “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala will be held on Sunday, July 12 at the RiverCentre in St. Paul. The celebrity red carpet, to which the public is invited, will begin at 2:30 p.m. on the lower level along Kellogg Blvd. Entertainment will begin at 5:00 p.m. This year’s event sponsor is Federated Insurance. Additional sponsors include Advanced Bionics, Carlson Companies, Fed Ex, Minnesota Timberwolves, ON Semiconductors, Rayovak / Spectrum, Sound Choice / Care Credit, and Tiffany & Co.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation (SHF)

Starkey Hearing Foundation is the global leader in the gift of hearing by delivering hearing instruments via hearing missions in 86 countries. Founded by William F. Austin in 1984 with the vision So the World May Hear, countless numbers of lives are touched by better hearing through Starkey Hearing Foundation missions. With the goal to heighten social consciousness on the importance of hearing, Starkey Hearing Foundation launched a hearing conservation program, Sound Matters, to educate the public about responsible listening. Today the Foundation is sustained by the selfless efforts of volunteers and donors spanning the globe. Since 2000, the Foundation has distributed nearly 340,000 hearing instruments to those in need around the world. Visit Facebook at to become a fan of Starkey Hearing Foundation, or visit us at



Starkey Hearing Foundation—Overview


Starkey Hearing Foundation was founded in 1984 by William F. Austin, CEO of Minneapolis-based Starkey Laboratories, the largest manufacturer of hearing instruments in the United States, in an effort to provide better hearing to those in need and to support hearing health awareness, education and research.

Hearing loss affects an estimated 35 million people in the United States alone and an estimated 500 million people worldwide. It stops people from being themselves, causes them to isolate themselves from family and friends, and often leads a family to stop trying to communicate with those who have difficulty hearing. Through a network of thousands of volunteers and donors worldwide, Starkey Hearing Foundation strives to help the hearing-impaired overcome theses challenges and remain active members of their community.

Every year, Starkey Hearing Foundation conducts more than 100 hearing mission trips worldwide and distributes 50,000 hearing instruments to the hearing-impaired. Since 2000, the Foundation has donated more than 340,000 hearing instruments to those in need in countries across the globe, including Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, the Ukraine, and Vietnam to name a few. In addition, the Foundation conducts domestic mission trips through its Hear Now program. It has recently conducted domestic missions in conjunction with events such as the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the GRAMMY Foundation’s Career Day, and the NBA All Star Game.

In addition to giving the gift of hearing, Starkey Hearing Foundation also works to heighten social consciousness about the importance of hearing. The Foundation recently launched Sound Matters, a hearing conservation program that partners with musicians such as Trisha Yearwood and Taylor Swift to educate the public about responsible listening.

Starkey Hearing Foundation’s signature fundraising event is its annual “So the World May Hear” Awards Gala. This star-studded event draws more than 1,500 attendees from around the world, including national politicians, Olympic athletes and Hollywood celebrities. Past performers have included Jim Belushi, Michael Bolton, Garth Brooks, Gavin DeGraw, Glenn Frey, Elton John, Jay Leno, Kenny Loggins, John Mellencamp, Jon McLaughlin, Donny Osmond, Trisha Yearwood, and Dionne Warwick among others.

Each year, the Gala also honors a number of celebrities for their significant contributions to humanity. Past honorees have included Buzz Aldrin, Garth Brooks, Scott Carpenter, Carol Channing, Walter Cronkite, Lou Ferrigno, Rev. Billy Graham, Wayne Gretzky, Goldie Hawn, Whitey Herzog, Elton John, Larry King, Billy Jean King, Tommy Lasorda, Marlee Matlin, Leslie Nielsen, Arnold Palmer, Sharon Osbourne, Marion Ross, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and many others.

With such strong support from across the globe, Starkey Hearing Foundation anticipates continuing to help the world to hear while increasing awareness of issues related to hearing loss for many years
to come.

Visit Facebook at to become a fan of
Starkey Hearing Foundation, or visit us at:


To list an upcoming event please contact


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