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Sir Elton John Joins Starkey Hearing Foundation on Mission to...

December 19, 2012 Press Release


Pictured above: Sir Elton John, David Furnish and Starkey Hearing Foundation founders Bill and Tani Austin help a young man hear during the Foundation’s mission in Manila, Philippines on December 8

MINNEAPOLIS (December 19, 2012) – Starkey Hearing Foundation wrapped up their second mission to the Philippines last week with help from legendary singer-songwriter, Sir Elton John and David Furnish. John and Furnish joined the Foundation in Manila and helped fit more than 400 hearing aids to children and adults in need, allowing many to hear for the first time in their lives.

In 2004 and 2009, John was the headlining performer at the Foundation’s annual So The World May Hear Awards Gala, and he and Furnish have supported Starkey Hearing Foundation’s work for several years since then. This was their first opportunity personally participate in a mission and give the gift of hearing.

“We are working to create peace and understanding around the world through the gift of hearing, and it is not possible without all the efforts of our friends and partners,” said Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We are so honored to have the support Sir Elton John and David Furnish and that they would take the time to help us deliver this precious gift.”

Starkey Hearing Foundation was also in the Philippines last December, delivering the gift of hearing to nearly 1,400 people in Manila, Bohol and Cebu with help from professional boxer, Manny Pacquiao and Los Angeles Galaxy soccer player, Landon Donovan. The Foundation plans to return in March 2013 to fit approximately 7,500 hearing aids in Manila, Batangas and General Santos.

This Philippines mission was the conclusion of a major mission circuit for Starkey Hearing Foundation. The team visited 13 additional cities in five countries—Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and India—and distributed more than 24,000 hearing aids over six weeks.

Starkey Hearing Foundation conducts approximately 70 missions each year, both domestically and internationally. Hearing missions are the primary way the Foundation realizes its goal – So the World May Hear. Starkey Hearing Foundation continues to fulfill its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) commitment to provide more than 100,000 hearing aids to people in need each year and more than one million this decade.

According to Starkey Hearing Foundation, hearing loss is pervasive, affecting 34 million Americans – or one in 10. Yet, with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected in a majority cases, giving an individual the opportunity to better connect with their family, the community and the world around them.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation is bringing understanding among individuals and communities through hearing care by focusing on awareness, education, protection and treatment, so the world may hear. 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 them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully initiative and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit

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