William F. Austin, Starkey’s founder and CEO (in white lab coat), behind the scenes on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Working with ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, Eden Prairie, Minn, is providing more than 400 hearing aids to students, family members, faculty, and alumni from the Oregon School for the Deaf in Salem, Ore.

“We always go where we can help and this project seemed perfect,” said Bill Austin, CEO and founder of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. “These are really great kids and we knew we could improve hearing for most of them.” As a former resident of Oregon, the project became exceptionally important to Austin and the Foundation.

In tradition with the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition production, the benefactors are sent on a vacation while local developers and volunteers complete the building project. “It made sense to bring the students to Minnesota where we could address hearing issues with maximum resources at our disposal," said Austin. "In addition, we have created a fun and exciting adventure for them in the Twin Cities." The students will be visiting a number of local attractions throughout the Minneapolis/St Paul area prior to returning home.

“We have become quite familiar with the amazing mission work of the Starkey Hearing Foundation,” said Brady Connell, executive producer of the ABC show. “Their generous contributions to this project have made it uniquely special for everyone involved.”

The Emmy award winning reality program, which is entering its eighth season, airs Sundays from 8 to 9 pm ET.

Since 2000, the Foundation has distributed nearly 500,000 hearing aids throughout 86 countries.

[Source: Starkey Hearing Foundation]