In mid July, members of the Starkey Australia team were fortunate enough to be attend the 16th So the World May Hear Gala held in St. Paul, Minneapolis. Each year the Gala is held to raise money to help fund the work carried out by the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Over the past 30 years the Foundation has provided more than 1.8 million hearing aids to people in over 100 countries through hundreds of missions.
The night also honours the philanthropic efforts of other humanitarians from around the world. This year’s honourees included: former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for his tireless work in Africa. Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner for her work in early childhood education and local identity Paula F Goldberg for her work with PACER, which provides a lifeline to parents of children and young adults with disabilities.
Guests were entertained by television host and comedian Jay Leno, who had the crowd in the palm of his hand with his comedy routine. As the night continued we were captivated by the musical stylings of our personal favourites, The Three Tenors. They showcased their amazing vocal range with a selection of songs from recent hits to operatic classics. Up next were the Hollywood Vampires, fronted by rock legend Alice Cooper, who reminded us how hard he can still rock, belting out rock anthems from legends past. The night wrapped up with a good old fashioned sing-a-long led by John Mellencamp, singing his hit song "Jack and Dianne".
Of course the most important aspect of the night was the fundraising activity and auction of upcoming missions in: Jamaica, Zambia and the Philippines. The entire evening raised a record breaking $9.5 million dollars, which will help thousands more receive the gift of hearing and enable them to hear the sounds of life. It is a night that will stay with those present forever and the message “So the world may hear” a mission for life. In the famous words of founder William F Austin “Alone we can’t do much, together we can change the world”.
If you would like to help support the missions the Starkey Hearing Foundation undertakes, you can do so by donating your old hearing aids to your local Audiology Clinic. Find out who is closest to you here. We accept hearing aids regardless of age, make or model. These hearing aids will be salvaged for parts to build new hearing aids to be used on future missions.
You can also donate directly to the Foundation here.