Star-Studded Starkey Gala Raises $7.2M

The Starkey Hearing Foundation raised $7.2 million at its annual event-which attracted more than 1,600 guests, including celebrities like Bill Clinton, Miley Cyrus, and Kevin Costner.

The stars were out on Sunday for the Starkey Hearing Foundation's 11th annual “So the World May Hear” gala at the St. Paul RiverCentre.

This year's event raised $7.2 million-the most of any of the galas to date.

The high-profile event attracted a long list of celebrity guests, including film and television personalities Whoopi Goldberg, Gary Busey, and Lou Ferrigno; music notables Jordin Sparks and John Rich; sports stars Michael Irvin and Larry Fitzgerald; and many more.

Reba McEntire, Meat Loaf, and Miley Cyrus were among the celebrities who performed at the event. Kevin Costner & Modern West headlined the gala's after party.

The Starkey Hearing Foundation said that the money raised will fund two “hearing missions” to Haiti and Israel, and will be used to fund the foundation's health and hearing campaigns throughout the year.

The event also honored a handful of leaders for their philanthropic efforts.

“It is our belief that helping people is the best work one can ever do,” Bill Austin, founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation, said in a statement. “As such, we recognize those leading the way in serving others with their own talents and abilities.”

The honorees included former president Bill Clinton, founding chairman of the Clinton Global Initiative; Marlee Matlin, Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian; Doug Pitt, humanitarian and photo journalist; and Randall Hogan, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based Pentair, Inc.

Started in 1984, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has supplied more than 500,000 hearing aids to people in need since 2000; its goal is to distribute more than one million free hearing aids during this decade. It also leads programs to promote “safe hearing” initiatives aimed at preventing hearing loss among young people.