St. Paul River Centre rolls out red carpet for celebs


Jennifer Garner, Johnny Depp and Jay Leno were just a few of the big name celebrities attending the Starkey Awards Gala at the River Centre in St. Paul on Sunday night.

The annual fundraiser – also referred to as "So the World May Hear" awards – generates millions of dollars to give people hearing aids around the world. Tickets started at $1,500.

This year, the Starkey Foundation made $9.5 million. The money will "accelerate the pace and scope of Starkey Hearing Foundation missions to reach more patients who need hearing health care," said a press release.


The foundation is the charitable arm of Eden Prairie-based hearing aid maker Starkey Hearing Technologies. The company has had a turbulent year.

Actress Jennifer Garner was officially honored at the gala for advocating on behalf of children in need, according to a news release. She is trustee for the international nonprofit Save the Children.

The executive director and co-founder of a Minnesota nonprofit was also honored at Sunday's festivities. Paula Goldberg was celebrated for making her organization PACER "a lifeline for parents of children and young adults with all disabilities," said the release. PACER is nearly 40 years old and headquartered in Bloomington.

The A-List

Live entertainment included Jay Leno, Alice Cooper, Joe Perry, Johnny Depp, John Mellencamp, country duo Maddie & Tae, The Tenors and American Idol winner Trent Harmon.

According to the Pioneer Press, the following stars were on the guest list – Dascha Polanco of “Orange is the New Black,” Cedric the Entertainer, Verne Troyer, Quinton Aaron of “The Blind Side,” Vanessa Marano of “Gilmore Girls,” and former “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson.

Athletes included boxing legend Evander Holyfield, Minnesota Vikings players Kyle Rudolph, Stefon Diggs, Laquon Treadwell and MLB Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, reported the newspaper.

Buzz Aldrin and Prime Minister Tony Blair were also in attendance, according to KARE11.

Check out some social media worthy moments of the gala:















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