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The Starkey Hearing Foundation to Give Early Holiday Gift of Hearing to Nearly 4,000 Patients in Five Countries

Eden Prairie, Minn.(November 2, 2005)The Starkey Hearing Foundation today announced that it will be completing six major hearing aid mission trips over the next six weeks through which it will provide more than 6,000 hearing aids to nearly 4,000 adults and children in five countries. The mission trips will include stops in Guadalajara, Mexico; St. Domingo and Santiago in the Dominican Republic; Cali, Colombia; Kingston, Jamaica; and sites in the United States.

Its so important that peoplefriends, families, communitiesare able to connect with each other fully, and the ability to hear allows them to do that, said William F. Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Were truly delighted to be able to help so many people in need throughout the world by giving them the gift of hearing, and we thank our partners and sponsors who are making these mission trips possible.

Mission trips are paid for by donations to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Every year at the Foundations annual So the World May Hear Awards Gala, Gala attendees have an opportunity to bid during a live auction to fund a mission trip. Sponsors of these upcoming mission trips include several Audibel hearing aid offices that are together funding the Guadalajara mission; Rayovac, a leading battery manufacturer, and Sonion, a leading acoustical components manufacturer, who are together funding the Dominican Republic missions; Starkey Southeast, whose hearing aid customers joined together with Phil Morrell of the Morrell Foundation and are funding the Colombia mission; and Starkeys Canadian division, whose customers are funding the Jamaica mission. The Starkey Fund and the Foundations Hear Now Project are sponsoring the U.S. efforts.

Through these missions, nearly 4,000 adults and children will receive more than 6,000 hearing aids as well as training on hearing aid care and maintenance and a supply of hearing aid batteries.

About the Starkey Hearing Foundation

Since 1973, Starkey has been giving the gift of hearing to the worlds underprivilegedespecially childrenthrough its internationally recognized mission program and its domestic program, Hear Now. Since 2000, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has provided more than 130,000 hearing aids to those in need around the world. Visit www.sotheworldmayhear.org to learn more.

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