NBA CARES AND STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION MAKE HISTORY ON FIRST-EVER HEARING MISSION TO CHINA
NBA Legend Yao Ming and Los Angeles Clippers Forward Caron Butler Assist in Delivering the Gift of Hearing to Almost 7,000 Hearing-Impaired Children and Adults in Xi’an and Chengdu
MINNEAPOLIS (August 27, 2012) /PRNewswire/ — Starkey Hearing Foundation and NBA Cares delivered the gift of hearing to almost 7,000 hearing impaired children and adults as part of a history-making hearing mission to China. Having distributed hundreds of thousands of hearing aids in more than 97 countries, this marks the Foundation’s first mission to China.
During the 10-day hearing mission to Xi’an and Chengdu, China, which officially concludes on August 29, 2012, Starkey Hearing Foundation’s team of audiologists and staff were joined by eight-time NBA All-Star and former Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, two-time NBA All-Star and Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler, and NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. Both Yao and Butler participated on behalf of NBA Cares and its ongoing support of Starkey Hearing Foundation’s mission – So the World May Hear.
Yao and Butler assisted with the hearing aid fittings in Chengdu on August 26, and participated in NBA FIT clinics held at the Qingshengshan High School and Jinhua Wanda Plaza. The NBA family has teamed with the Foundation on previous missions in the United States, Egypt, Puerto Rico, and Turkey.
“The NBA family is proud to team up once again with Starkey Hearing Foundation to provide thousands of children and adults with hearing aids,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. “I am thrilled to have been a part of this life-changing mission. This ongoing partnership underscores the league’s commitment, through NBA Cares, to supporting internationally recognized youth-serving organizations that make a profound difference for those in need around the world.”
“Hearing is critical for participation and involvement in sports and other aspects of everyday life that help provide an individual with a sense of belonging and community,” said Bill Austin, Founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation. “We are fortunate to have the support of NBA Cares to help those in need reach their full potential through hearing by reconnecting them with their loved ones and the world around them.”
“It is very meaningful to help kids hear their parents’ voices and to be able to call mom and dad in their own voice for the first time in their life,” said Yao. “I am proud to partner with Starkey Hearing Foundation and NBA Cares in the first ever hearing mission to China, which will enable thousands of people to hear their loved ones for the first time.”
“It is an honor to join Starkey Hearing Foundation and NBA Cares to give the gift of hearing to thousands of people in China,” said Butler. “The ability to hear is such an important part of life on and off the court and I am thankful to have the opportunity to help improve the lives of 7,000 people.”
Other sponsors of the Starkey Hearing Foundation mission to China include Pentair; Glen and Becky Taylor, owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves; and Bill and Teri Popp, Popp Communications. Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Dallas Austin also joined the Foundation in China.
The China hearing mission immediately followed the Foundation’s 2012 So the World May Hear Awards Gala, which took place on August 4, 2012 and raised a record $7.6 million. The funds raised during the 12th annual event will allow Starkey Hearing Foundation to conduct hearing missions around the world.
Hearing missions are the primary way Starkey Hearing Foundation realizes its goal – So the World May Hear. Each year, the Foundation conducts hearing missions both in the U.S. and internationally, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, has pledged one million hearing aids for those in need within this decade. According to the Foundation, hearing loss is pervasive affecting more than 63 million children worldwide. Yet in a majority of cases, hearing loss can be corrected with the help of a hearing device, giving an individual the opportunity to better connect with their family, the community and the world around them.
Starkey Hearing Foundation is committed to creating sustainable systems of hearing care in each location it visits, providing hearing aid recipients with a year’s supply of batteries and counseling on the care and maintenance of their new hearing devices. The Foundation also identifies and supports local health care partners to ensure patients have access to the help they need long after the mission ends.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission to address important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated than $200 million to charity, completed more than 1.9 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 720 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 23 countries and territories on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
About Starkey Hearing Foundation
Starkey Hearing Foundation is bringing understanding among individuals and communities through hearing care by focusing on awareness, education, protection and treatment, so the world may hear. Hearing loss affects one in 10 Americans, and 63 million children worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton’s Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully initiative and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org.
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