Bethesda, MD: The Hearing Loss Association of America® is pleased to announce that the association’s Walk4Hearing™ program surpassed its fundraising goal of $1 million for 2009. Dedicated volunteers organized Walk events in 21 cities across the country, with more than 4,000 people participating in the largest walkathon program for people with hearing loss.
Significant developments in the Walk4Hearing™ program contributed to the association's goal of increasing awareness about hearing loss, minimizing the stigma associated with wearing hearing aids and cochlear implants, and raising funds to expand services and programs for people with hearing loss and their families at the national and local levels.
Mike Orscheln, president and CEO of Phonak, a Walk sponsor served as the first Business Team Chair for the Chicago Walk4Hearing™. In a pre-event statement, Orscheln stated, "At Phonak, we are committed to opening up the world of hearing to those with hearing loss through the development of and manufacture of world-class digital hearing systems.” Other national sponsors included Advanced Bionics, HearUSA, IBM, and Sorenson SIP Relay. Harold Salters, Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs for T-Mobile, a major sponsor of the Walk4Hearing™ said, “T-Mobile is proud of its support and commitment to the Walk4Hearing™, dating from the very first Walk. Every year, participation by our employees and others increases and we share HLAA’s excitement about the greater turnout and awareness of hearing loss issues throughout our communities and nation.”
Washington Redskins safety, Reed Doughty, who has had a hearing loss since childhood, was the Honorary Chair for the Washington DC Walk4Hearing™ and was featured in a Public Service Announcement aired by Comcast SportsNet. The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation also showed their support of the Walk4Hearing™ by donating a “Kids Kick-off” ticket package.
Across the country Walk4Hearing™ sites experienced an increase in the number of teams, with 600 registered. They also welcomed participation from a greater number of families with children with hearing loss. In addition, "alliances" were formed with various schools systems, schools for students who are deaf and hard of hearing, universities, hearing loss-related organizations, and audiology programs. Alliance groups share in the proceeds.
Lauren Harman of Yardley, Pennsylvania, who walked in the Garden State (NJ) Walk4Hearing™, is the winner of the 2009 Walk4Hearing™ raffle prize drawing of top fundraisers. She will enjoy one week at the Spa and Golf Resort in Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico.
About the Hearing Loss Association of America
The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), founded in 1979, opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss through information, education, advocacy and support. HLAA publishes the bimonthly Hearing Loss Magazine, holds annual conventions, Walk4Hearing™, and more. Information can be found at www.hearingloss.org/. The national headquarters is located at 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200, Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301.657.2248. HLAA has chapters and state organizations across the country.