Starkey Hearing Foundation Gala Weekend

With Tani and Bill

About 4 weeks ago, our beloved client, Starkey Hearing Foundation, invited the directors of Sparkplug to their Annual Gala. The gala is a weekend long event during which they celebrate their partnerships, ambitions, and achievements but most of all, show appreciation for the past year. It was an amazing evening of moving speeches and riveting performances, and overwhelming support for the gift of hearing by raising more than $8.7 million to reconnect families and communities around the world.

For a foundation the size of Starkey, it is very well run, with an amazing team of people who care about what they do and whom they serve. They seek to deliver the gift of hearing to those who need it most. With operations in over 45 countries worldwide, they wish to fulfill their ultimate mission that is, “So The World May Hear”.

I first met Bill and Tani Austin, the co-founders, while volunteering at one of their missions here in Kampala back in 2012. I liked what they did and thought to take note the next time they were in Uganda. We met again in 2013, thanks to the venerable Richard Brown, and thus begun our journey to jumpstart their International Patient Database system. It is for this reason that I, together with my colleague Moses Mugisha, were invited to join celebration of this and the many other achievements that the Starkey Hearing Foundation achieved this past year.

I wish to share photos of some of my favorite moments from the gala, as well as talk a little bit about some of the interesting people I met there.

Starkey Gala Honorees I got to be in the same auditorium and share an evening with these amazing people. Care to guess the names of some of the people in this photo?

Founders' Circle Luncheon Founders’ Circle Luncheon was really informative, and fulfilling as we got to see the product of our work on display, and meet Starkey partners from the different countries around the world. And I got to chat with the former president of Malawi, H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda!

Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

Meeting Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, a TIME 100 honoree, was one of the highlights for me as she represents the power of empathy and hope in any community. With her organization, Sewing Hope, she presides over Saint Monica’s Vocational School in Gulu, Uganda and invites formerly abducted and ostracized girls, who return with LRA rebels’ children, and imparts vocational skills such as tailoring so that they may gain independence. Working together with the Forest Whitaker Foundation and Pros for Africa, she has been able to have great impact on this section of her community. Keep up the great work Sister Nyirumbe.

Rami and Mazen

The work that Abraham Rami Elhanan and Mazen Faraj are doing with Parents Circle - Families Forum to bring about peace in the Gaza strip cannot go ignored. Glad they got awarded for their efforts. I hope and pray for peace in Gaza.

Dikembe Mutombo Dikembe Mutombo is way taller than you! And he does a lot of great work with his foundation!

Miss Minnesota

Miss Minnesota is a pre-med student. Her future is bright. She’s gonna save lives.

Amazing Glitter Elephant This amazing glitter elephant. I’m an elephant clan boy so the obsession is warranted!

Ride or Die Dude And this!

Anyhow, the main reason I wrote this post was to show appreciation for our client, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and highlight the importance of partnership. Choosing the right partners goes a long way in achieving impact for any cause you set out to achieve. Are you choosing the right partners?