NEW ORLEANS—Super Bowl weekend in New Orleans was a banner occasion for hearing care foundations as well as for football fans. On February 2, the day before the Baltimore Ravens upset the San Francisco Forty-Niners, Starkey Hearing Foundation conducted a mission where nearly 300 people received free custom hearing aids.
As reported here last week, last Saturday was also the day when the HearStrong Foundation honored its latest Champion at an event in New Orleans attended by members of the National Football League Players Association.
Since its founding in 1984 by Bill Austin, owner of Starkey Hearing Technologies, the Starkey Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of hearing aids to people in need all over the world.
The New Orleans mission took place at the Marsalis Center for Music in the Musicians’ Village. Musicians’ Village is a post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding project spearheaded by two renowned New Orleans musicians, Harry Connick Jr. and Branford Marsalis, to preserve their city’s music and culture. Therefore, it was appropriate that a number of those fitted with hearing aids by the foundation’s team of audiologists and other staff were musicians.
Austin noted, “Music plays a significant role in New Orleans’ heritage and culture and I’m delighted to return to this area to give the gift of hearing once again. Watching somebody light up as they hear music clearly again is an incredible experience, and sharing that moment is something you never forget.”
Several NFL players, including Craig Stevens of the Tennessee Titans, Greg Jennings of the Green Bay Packers, and the Saints’ Brian de la Puente, also attended the event. De la Puente, whose youngest sister is deaf, called the work of the Starkey Foundation “truly inspirational.”
Starkey Hearing Foundation, which is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, has pledged to donate 1 million hearing aids by the end of the decade.