Minneapolis, MN, April 11, 2011 (Starkey Hearing Foundation) Last night’s April 10, 2011 episode of NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” featured a check presentation in the amount of $1,000,000 to Bill Austin, Chief Executive Officer of Starkey Laboratories and Founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. The presentation was made on behalf of the show and Donald Trump, Host and Executive Producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice”, by Marlee Matlin, cast member and Leader of Team A.S.A.P.
“Our Foundation was built on the mission to reconnect individuals to their families, communities and the world through hearing, and these monies will go a long way in fulfilling that mission and increasing our capacity to give better hearing to those that need it the most” said Austin. “We are extremely grateful to our long-time friend Marlee, for making us her charity of choice on this season’s “The Celebrity Apprentice”, and for working so hard with her team to raise the most for any charity in the show’s history.”
The donation received from “The Celebrity Apprentice” will be utilized to fund Starkey hearing missions throughout 2011 in order to provide more adults and children in need with free hearing devices. Currently there are Starkey Hearing Missions planned for this spring in Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Israel and New York City. According to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the $1,000,000 will provide much needed funding for the Foundation to get closer to its goal of one million free hearing aids in this decade.
The goal of the Starkey Hearing Foundation is to change the social consciousness of hearing and hearing health care, while providing the gift of hearing to those who need it. The monies donated to the Foundation during “The Celebrity Apprentice” were part of a record-breaking $1.6 million raised for charity during a single nonfinale episode. The show’s two teams were assigned the task of creating and selling their own works of art for charity. Marlee and Team A.S.A.P. raised $986,000, with $14,000 generously added by Donald Trump while in the boardroom.
“I am proud of Team A.S.A.P. and what we achieved with this fundraising task,” said Matlin. “I have witnessed their life changing work, and with more than 63 million children worldwide affected by hearing loss, I look forward raising even more attention and money to help meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children who are waiting for the gift of hearing that Starkey does an amazing job of providing year after year.”
In addition to her support for the Foundation on this season’s “The Celebrity Apprentice”, Matlin has joined the Starkey Hearing Foundation on five hearing missions, three in the U.S. and two international, including most recently in Kenya (Nairobi), as part of a 24-day tour throughout the continent where more than 20,000 hearing devices were given to children and adults in need.
About The Starkey Hearing Foundation
The Starkey Hearing Foundation is striving to change the social consciousness of hearing and hearing loss prevention. 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 correct that disability. The Foundation has a yearly goal of giving more than 100,000 hearing aids through hearing missions in countries stretching from the U.S. to Vietnam. Since 2000, the Foundation has supplied nearly 498,000 hearing aids to people in need and is striving to achieve its goal of distributing over one million free hearing aids in this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing, the Foundation partners with Best Buy and the GRAMMY Foundation to promote “safe hearing” and hearing loss prevention among teens and young people, through its national program, SoundMatters.
In addition, the Starkey Hearing Foundation recently launched the Listen Carefully campaign to spread the word among young people and adults to protect their hearing by lowering the volume a simple solution with longterm impact. The Listen Carefully campaign kicked off with a series of public service ads sending a clear message your hearing is fragile, so don’t listen loudly, listen carefully. The campaign will also include digital media activities and the Starkey Hearing Foundation Listen Carefully Sweepstakes with recording artist and actress Miley Cyrus, who is also appearing in some of campaign ads.
For more information on the Starkey Hearing Foundation, including the Listen Carefully campaign, visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.