By Tim Saunders on
This year’s CNN Heroes event featured a host of famous presenters including Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Randy Jackson, Greg Kinnear, George Lopez and Julia Louis Dreyfus.
Presented by Anderson Cooper, the third annual event honored the top 10 CNN Everyday Heroes of 2009, and was taped in front of an audience of 2,500 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Performances by Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood and R&B singer Maxwell enhanced the evening, which took place on November 21 and will be broadcast on CNN on November 26.
The honorees – as listed by CNN – were:
- Brad Blauser is providing hope and mobility to disabled children and their families in Iraq. Since 2005, his Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids program has distributed nearly 650 free pediatric wheelchairs to children in need.
- Roy Foster started Stand Down House to help veterans struggling with addiction and homelessness in Florida. Since 2000, his program has provided life-changing services to nearly 900 veterans.
- Doc Hendley is providing clean water to communities worldwide. Through creative fundraising, his nonprofit Wine to Water has brought sustainable water systems to 25,000 people in five countries.
- Breast cancer survivor Andrea Ivory is bringing early detection to the doorsteps of uninsured women. With mobile mammography vans, her group has provided more than 500 free screenings in Miami, Florida.
- Zimbabwe native Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network to provide a haven for young victims of sexual abuse. The organization has rescued more than 35,000 girls since 2001.
- School bus driver Jorge Munoz is helping hungry New Yorkers make it through tough times. Since 2004, he has handed out more than 70,000 meals from his mobile soup kitchen in Queens — for free.
- Efren Peñaflorida gives Filipino youth an alternative to gang membership through education. His Dynamic Teen Company’s 10,000 members have taught basic reading and writing to 1,500 kids living in the slums.
- Budi Soehardi founded a children’s home in one of the poorest areas of Indonesia. Today, Roslin Orphanage in West Timor provides food, shelter and education to more than 45 children.
- Derrick Tabb started The Roots of Music to give young people an alternative to New Orleans’ streets. His music education program provides free tutoring, instruments and music instruction to more than 100 students.
- Jordan Thomas, 20, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, lost both of his legs in a boating accident in 2005. Since then, his Jordan Thomas Foundation has raised more than $400,000 to provide prosthetics for children in need.
Each of the top 10 Heroes receives $25,000, with the top Hero – Efren Peñaflorida – winning $100,000.
“With the recognition they receive on our stage,” said Anderson Cooper, “they’ll be able to help thousands and thousands of people. Through their efforts, lives will be changed and lives will be saved.”
To find out more about the winners, visit the CNN Heroes website.
Copyright © 2009 Look to the Stars