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Garth Brooks, Jon McLaughlin, and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo Raise Their Voices to Help Starkey Hearing Foundation Raise More

Eden Prairie, Minn.June 16, 2008Through emotional and energetic performances, Garth Brooks, Jon McLaughlin, and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo helped the Starkey Hearing Foundation, a world leader in promoting hearing health awareness, raise a record $5,045,000 at its annual So the World May Hear Awards Gala, held Saturday, June 14 at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minn. With money raised at the Gala, the Starkey Hearing Foundation will travel the world donating hearing instruments to children in need.

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Garth Brooks was the mystery headliner at this year's Starkey Gala. Here he is performing at the Gala. Photographer is Adam Bettcher.

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Singer-songwriter Jon McLaughlin, who sang the Oscar-nominated song "So Close" in the 2007 movie "Enchanted," walked the red carpet with his wife, Amy. Photographer is Adam Bettcher.

Because Garth performs so rarely, it was a true honor to have him headline this years Gala and help the Foundation raise an extraordinary amount of money to help give the gift of hearing to those in need all over the world, said Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. According to Austin, Brooks stepped in as headliner when the original event headliner had to cancel unexpectedly.

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Marlee Matlin and her Dancing with the Stars dance partner, Fabian Sanchez, took to the stage during the Starkey Hearing Foundation's "So the World May Hear" Awards Gala. Photographer is Adam Bettcher.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is a charity that Trisha believes in strongly and supports enthusiastically. Garth was as much supporting her as he was Starkey by stepping in to perform, and we are truly grateful. Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks wife, has partnered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation on its public awareness campaign, Sound Affects, designed to educate the public on responsible listening.

"Starkey does amazing things for all people, said Brooks. They see no flags, no income levels, no colors...just the need. These people are truly angels on this earth."

In addition to live and silent auctions and spectacular entertainment, the evening also included the Foundations recognition of four individuals for their significant contributions to humanity. This years honorees, all of whom attended this years event, included Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King, Major League Baseball legend Whitey Herzog, and Twin Cities philanthropists Bill and Teri Popp.

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Billie Jean King, who was honored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation during the Gala for her humanitarian efforts, was presented with her award by Tani Austin, secretary/treasurer of the Foundation. Photographer is Raphael Victorian.

The star-studded evening was attended by more than 1,500 supporters, including such VIPs and celebrities as former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, NBA legend Rick Barry, author and former cyclist Dan Buettner, former astronaut Scott Carpenter, former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, comedian Norm Crosby, actor Robert Culp, actor Lou Ferrigno, Baseball Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, TV personality Alan Kalter, singer-songwriter Crosby Loggins, singer Sam Moore, golf legend Arnold Palmer, actress Marion Ross, former baseball great Ozzie Smith, actress and model Cheryl Tiegs, singer Lucy Walsh, singer-songwriter Paul Williams, and others.

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Paige Hemmis and Eduardo Xol, both designers on ABC's Extreme Makeover:
Home Edition walked the red carpet. Photographer is Adam Bettcher.


About the Starkey Hearing Foundation

Founded in 1984, the Starkey Hearing Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the world to hear. Through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors, the Foundation delivers 50,000 hearing instruments annually worldwide. Since 2000, the Foundation has donated nearly 280,000 hearing aids to those in need. To learn more about the Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit www.sotheworldmayhear.org

For more information on Starkey, visit www.starkey.com.

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