Ceremonies Held in Washington, D.C., on November 17, 2003
William Austin, founder and CEO of Starkey Laboratories, Inc. and the Starkey Hearing Foundation, was honored with a National Caring Award for his generosity and commitment to service, it was announced in Washington, D.C. by Senator Robert J. Dole, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Caring Institute. The ceremonies were held on Monday, November 17, 2003 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
Since 1973, Austin has pledged himself "to fix the broken ears" of the world through his Starkey Hearing Foundation. He sets up at least 150 missions a year to countries such as Vietnam, Mexico, the Ukraine, the Dominican Republic, and South Africa to fit needy children with hearing aids. In addition, the Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and provides hearing aids, hearing aid batteries and other hearing products to needy people.
Austin is considered the world's foremost expert in hearing aids and his clientele includes movie stars, sports celebrities, and politicians (including several United States Presidents). "Of course, it's fun to help a movie star," Austin says, "but the best is to see a child react when he first hears. I wish I could go on all the missions we conduct each year. The things we see are so remarkable. It's like you snapped on a light switch and let them hear the world."
Through the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Austin provides hearing care to anyone who needs it. "We keep growing the Foundation," he says, "so that we never have to turn anyone away, and we try to reach hearing-impaired kids as young as possible."
Every year the Caring Institute receives thousands of nominations of people worthy to receive a National Caring Award. A distinguished panel of judges makes the final selection of ten recipients for this prestigious award. William Austin joins a company of people who have devoted their lives to service to others, including Mother Teresa, former President Jimmy Carter, and Hugh Downs.
Following the presentation of his award, Austin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for Caring Americans located in the Caring Museum three blocks east of the U.S. Capitol.
Austin's Starkey Laboratories Inc. and the Starkey Hearing Foundation are headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The company owns and operates 33 facilities in 18 countries throughout North America, Central America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Click here to visit the Starkey website.