So the World May Hear Awards Gala


A Celebration of the Spirit of Giving

Starkey Hearing Foundation’s 2013 So the World May Hear Awards Gala weekend was one for the record books. The spirit of generosity flowed through the hearts and minds of all who attended this moving and action packed event.

President Bill Clinton, Forest Whitaker, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mel B., Lou Ferrigno, Bill Rancic, Greg Jennings, Tony Hawk, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Sorbo, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis, Verne Troyer and many more gathered together to celebrate the incredible humanitarian accomplishments of Sir Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Barbara Bush, Chunli Zhao “Angel,” Jimmy Walker and Dennis and Leslie Hansen.

The mid-afternoon silent auction was brimming with friends of the Foundation, excited to support our work. By 5 p.m. more than 1,600 people filled the Saint Paul RiverCentre immersed in the giving spirit that would make this magical evening a record-breaker, raising more than ever before.

Celebrity and VIP supporters were on-hand, including President Bill Clinton, actors Forest Whitaker, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Sorbo and Lou Ferrigno, and sports stars Greg Jennings, Kristi Yamaguchi, Tony Hawk and Lennox Lewis. Performers included Lionel Richie, Marc Anthony, Sinbad, Matisyahu, Jessica Sanchez, Nina Whitaker and ARIA.

President Clinton thanked Bill and Tani Austin for their inspirational work and recognized each of the evening’s honorees before he presented Chunli Zhao “Angel” with an award for her work as a leading advocate for disability rights in China. Honorees Sir Richard Branson, who was recognized for the work of Virgin Unite, Barbara Bush, who was recognized for her work with Global Health Corps, Jimmy Walker, who was recognized for his work with Celebrity Fight Night, and philanthropists Dennis and Leslie Hansen accepted awards with words emphasizing the global need for compassion and caring. Ashton Kutcher also accepted an award for his work with Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children, after an emotional introduction from his twin brother Michael.

The honorees were not alone in their inspiration. The crowd was deeply moved by a surprise speech from Edrias Taza, a young man from Ethiopia who’s life was saved by critical medical care sponsored and organized by Bill Austin.

Footage from hearing missions, including New Orleans, Rwanda and China, showed the powerful impact of reflecting caring and sharing around the world. 

Past events

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