May 14, 2012 – The Center for Hearing and Speech is thrilled to announce LINN Energy (Nasdaq:LINE), a top-15 publicly traded independent E&P company, as their presenting sponsor in a multi-year partnership for the Houston Via Colori® Street Painting Festival. The new agreement increases LINN Energy's annual sponsorship, and supports the Center's initiative to increase community awareness of hearing loss and raise necessary funds for hearing-impaired children. In its seventh year, Via Colori showcases the talents of 240 artists as they create massive chalk murals directly on the pavement of downtown Houston Nov. 17 and 18.
"At LINN Energy, we believe every child deserves a chance to realize their potential. LINN has sponsored Via Colori for the past few years. I have been personally involved with the Center for Hearing and Speech for several years, so I have witnessed how it transforms the lives of children," said Mark E. Ellis, Chairman, President and CEO of LINN Energy. "The Center provides the tools and extra help hearing-impaired children need to thrive in the mainstream of life. We are very excited about stepping up the positive impact we can make for these children through a three-year commitment to partner with the Center as the presenting sponsor of Via Colori."
LINN Energy's timing as presenting sponsor is perfect. This year, the Center is making huge changes to the festival that will impact its future. Due to the reconstruction of Sam Houston Park downtown, like many Houston festivals, Via Colori is moving to Hermann Square at City Hall and the surrounding streets of McKinney, Bagby, Lamar and Walker.
"With the move and LINN's long-term investment, we will be able to build and add new elements to the festival," said Via Colori Event Manager Lisa Benitez. "The Center truly values LINN's unfailing commitment as a sponsor through the years and we are honored they are making such an instrumental contribution to our cause."
Dedicated to improving the lives of people throughout the community, LINN Energy aids organizations that focus on health, education, community services and the arts. As a unique grassroots event, Via Colori was a natural fit for a partnership. Not only does the festival increase public access to art, it also promotes pediatric hearing health and benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech. Since 1947, the Center has taught deaf children to listen and speak for themselves without the use of sign language.
"Our employees at LINN are passionate about connecting to our communities by donating their personal time to worthy causes," added Ellis. "This event is the perfect opportunity for them to become personally involved in a fundraiser that benefits children in our community, while also having a great time with their families at a street-painting festival that offers two days of art and fun for all."
The joint venture will not only allow the Center to inform a larger audience about the communication options available for hearing-impaired children but it will also give LINN Energy's employees an avenue to continue their tradition of volunteerism.