Garth Brooks

With the help of a star-studded line up of football and entertainment legends, Starkey Hearing Foundation, which strives to change the social consciousness of hearing and hearing health care, delivered the gift of hearing today to 235 hearing impaired children and adults from the Indianapolis area ranging in age from 3 to 92. The event, which marked the Foundation’s 3rd annual Super Bowl Week Hearing Mission, was held at the SportZone in Indianapolis.

In what has become an annual tradition for Starkey, the Super Bowl Hearing Mission received help from a “super” team of Foundation friends:

· Garth Brooks – Grammy-Winning Country Music Artist

· Jim McMahon – Chicago Bears, Quarterback (Retired)

· Joe DeLamielleure – NFL Hall of Famer, Buffalo Bills Offensive Guard (1973-1985)

· Matt Forte – Chicago Bears, Running Back

· Tommie Harris – San Diego Chargers, Defensive End

· Mike Gaines – Formerly with Houston Texans, Tight End

· Heather Whitestone – First Deaf Miss America Title Holder (1995)

· Justin Hines – Canadian singer/songwriter

These celebrity volunteers joined Bill Austin, Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation, and his team of experts in fitting local children and adults with state-of-the-art, custom-made hearing aids. The Foundation’s distribution of hearing aids is part of their mission so the world may hear, and goal to distribute 1,000,000 hearing aids by 2020.

Among the day’s recipients was Catherine Donaldson, a legally deaf 52-year-old single mother of six from Indianapolis whose 15-year-old daughter wrote Starkey Hearing Foundation to help surprise her mother with a new set of hearing aids. “I am asking in the hopes that your company could help me surprise my mom with new hearing aids, because she will never complain or ask for this help, when she desperately needs it,” said Michelle Buckallew in a letter to the Foundation. “I’m hoping with all your mission trips you have done, you can find a way to help me with my mom.” Michelle’s letter reached Austin, and her wish was granted. Catherine, who was only expecting to receive ear impressions to have hearing aids made at a later time once she was able to afford them, was surprised with a new set of state-of-the-art hearing aids.

“Giving the gift of hearing is what we do,” said Bill Austin, Chief Executive Officer of Starkey Hearing Technologies and Founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. “Hearing is what we give and share with the world that they may smile, laugh, and enjoy a life previously unavailable to them due to a hearing loss disability.” According to Starkey Hearing Foundation, an estimated 63 million children worldwide suffer from hearing loss. In the U.S., 34 million Americans, or one in 10, live with hearing loss or a hearing disability.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation’s Super Bowl Hearing Mission is one of dozens of missions conducted each year both domestically and internationally. The Super Bowl week mission included the precise fitting of custom-made, state-of-the-art hearing aids for each recipient, along with testing, batteries, counseling and instructions on follow-up care.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation is striving to foster greater 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. From 2000 to 2010, Starkey Hearing Foundation fit more than 500,000 hearing aids to people in need in the U.S. and around the world. The Foundation has grown that commitment to more than 100,000 hearing aids annually and is dedicated to fitting 1 million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness 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

Photo By: RD/Kabik/Retna