Monday, 23 November 2009


Associated Press
Business Mirror

LOS ANGELES—Kate Hudson, Pierce Brosnan, Neil Patrick Harris and other stars who are used to getting applause were giving it gladly at a ceremony honoring people who make a difference in the lives of others.

“I’ve cried twice and we’re on hero three,” Harris said backstage after introducing one of the 10 “CNN Heroes” celebrated on Saturday by the TV news network for their efforts to fight poverty, disease and other problems.

“There are so many awards shows every year for the Hollywood community that participating in something as effective as this makes those others feel inconsequential” and provides perspective, said Harris, star of CBS’s How I Met Your Mother and recent Emmy Awards host.

The top CNN Hero of the Year and a grant of $100,000 went to a young man who embraced education for himself and other Filipinos as an escape from poverty. He and the other honorees received $25,000 each. As a child, Efren Peñaflorida picked school over gang life in Cavite City and vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice. He created a program that brings books to children in slums and on the streets, and the 10,000 members of his Dynamic Teen Co. have brought reading, writing and hygiene to 1,500 youngsters.

“My message to children of all races, please, to embrace learning and love it for it will embrace and love you back and enable you to change your world,” said Peñaflorida, now a 21-year-old college graduate.


The awards show, which is unusual for a TV news network, was created in 2007 after CNN producers and correspondents talked about meeting many unsung heroes, said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.

“We do something that’s not done—shine a light on everyday people that do extraordinary work,” Walton said before the event.

The 10 finalists were selected from more than 9,000 submissions by a panel that included former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Turner. The winner was chosen online by the public, with nearly 3 million votes cast. --AP

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