Thursday, November 26, 2009

CNN's Heroes for 2009

all images courtesy of CNNIn a star-studded award ceremony held on Saturday, November 21st at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, Efren Penaflorida of the Philippines was named the 2009 CNN HERO OF THE YEAR, after nearly three million votes were cast at CNN.com/Heroes. Actress Eva Mendes introduced Penaflorida (pronounced Pen-ya-flow-REE-duh) as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes; host Anderson Cooper announced Penaflorida as the CNN HERO OF THE YEAR at the end of the evening, after a powerful performance by Grammy Award-winning recording artist Carrie Underwood.
Penaflorida was voted CNN HERO OF THE YEAR from among the Top 10 CNN HEROES, who were all honored at Saturday’s event. Celebrity presenters included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Eva Mendes, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Randy Jackson. Underwood, Leona Lewis, and Maxwell each performed.CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, hosted by Cooper, aired globally on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 pm. The CNN HEROES gala is the only awards show of its kind – featuring celebrities honoring everyday people who have made an extraordinary difference in their communities and beyond.Ten years ago, Efren Penaflorida faced a choice so many impoverished teens in the Philippines confront: life in a gang. When a gang member challenged him to a fight, Penaflorida walked away and embraced his education, promising to create a positive alternative for other children to build a better life. Through his organization, Dynamic Teen Company, Penaflorida created a pushcart classroom to bring education to the most forgotten children in the country. The gangs start recruiting early and so does Penaflorida. Every Saturday, he pushes the cart to different sites across the city: the cemetery, the municipal trash dump, and the deplorable housing conditions. He brings reading, writing, and arithmetic to the children. He gives them a place to sit and learn in peace. He teaches them basic hygiene – washing their faces and brushing their teeth.
Since 1997, he has taught more than 1,700 students with nearly 12,000 members in his organization, showing the youngsters that they, too, have a choice. They can reject the gangs, embrace their education and “be the change that they dream.” Peñaflorida hopes to create an international movement for pushcart classrooms in underdeveloped parts of the world.The CNN HEROES initiative, which began in 2007, garnered a record number of submissions this year (over 9,000) as well as a record number of online votes (nearly 3 million). The Top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by an esteemed Blue Ribbon Panel, which included Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner, Shakira, Rosanna Rosado, Mariane Pearl, Malaak Compton-Rock, and Sir Elton John, among other humanitarians.
Here are two candid shots of this year's nominees:

Here are a few images of CNN's 2009 Heroes with their celebrity presenters:

And some candid shots of the evening:


Congratulations to Efren Penaflorida and to the CNN Heroes and to all who strive to make a difference.



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3 comments:

On_Love_Street_With_Jim_Morrison said...

I didn't get to see Heroes, was t my firend's house. I'm sure CNN will repeat it though. I like all the pictures posted, especially the ones of Neil Patrick Harris :)

judy said...

Thank you Phebe for downloading the photos of the Heroes Show. The close-up of AC is very becoming.
There were portions of the program that were inspiring and compelling, but CNN did their best to pack as many commercials as possible into it, causing the show to have gaps of transition and fluidity.
I thought Neil Patrick Harris, has a stage presence like no one else and was the best presenter, and Leona Lewis did a wonderful job and encouraged me to get her next CD, having her first.
Something was lacking in AC's presentation....I don't know what. When he did the show live, from NYC, he seemed more animated and I like his live performances rather then the over edited tape ones. It just loses something. All in all it was enjoyable and all the heroes were equally deserving.

On_Love_Street_With_Jim_Morrison said...

@Judy, I didn't see Heroes, but I am not surprised to hear about Neil Patrick Harris stage presence or that he was the best presenter. He did a great job hosting the Tony Awards and The Emmy awards and just seems to feel really at home on the stage.