Miley Cyrus announced she will be joining the Starkey Hearing Foundation for a return visit, to bring the gift of hearing to Haiti, after making a generous donation that helped tip the scales at this year's So The World May Hear Awards Gala, held at the end of July.
During the event's silent auction, Miley placed a bid on what will be her second hearing mission to Haiti – and won. The end-of-evening donation helped the Foundation edge past last year's funds raised ($7 million), and reach a record-breaking $7.2 million for the evening!
Miley first visited the country with the Starkey Hearing Foundation in March 2011, where she helped distribute hearing aids to those in need. It was Miley's first introduction to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and quickly led to her involvement in the Foundation's Listen Carefully campaign.
Launched in April, the message of the campaign, directed mostly to young people, stresses a clear message – "your hearing is fragile, so don't listen loudly, listen carefully."
Cyrus appeared in a series of public service ads on behalf of the campaign, and also utilized her Get Your Good On Facebook page to reach fans with the message. Fans of the artist were also invited to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a "listening experience" with the famous singer during a sound check at this year's So The World May Hear Awards Gala. She talked about her experience, performed The Climb among other signature hits, and graciously met with sweepstakes' winners, mother and daughter Lisa and Samantha Sobek, from Belleville, NJ.
"After I went on my first mission to Haiti with the Starkey Hearing Foundation, I felt so drawn to helping others hear for the first time and immediately wanted to look for another chance to go back and help again," said Cyrus.
"I grew up around music with my brothers and sisters and couldn't imagine what it would be like if we couldn't hear the magic of music – it's had such an influence on my life – so I want everyone to have the ability to enjoy sound as it was intended."
The mission of the Starkey Hearing Foundation is to foster greater understanding among people through hearing care by focusing on awareness, education, protection and treatment so the world may hear. Every dollar of the $7.2m raised at this year's Gala will go towards helping the Foundation reach its goal of helping children and adults hear.
Each year, the Foundation presents its So the World May Hear Awards Gala to recognise those that have contributed throughout the year. The event is also the largest annual fundraiser for the Foundation, helping to make the hearing missions possible. Past gala performers have included such world-class entertainers as Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Elton John, Gladys Knight, Tony Bennett, Donny Osmond, Michael Bolton, John Mellencamp, The Eagles, and Glenn Frey, with comedians such as Billy Crystal, Jay Leno and Norm Crosby serving in the role of Masters of Ceremony.