CNN’S HERO OF THE YEAR


As CNN ace reporter, blonde haired Anderson Cooper toyed with an envelope which contained the winner of CNN’s hero of the year award. Millions of viewers watched this human drama play out with bated breath; this was indeed a defining moment in TV broadcast. 6weeks of aggressive TV publicity had culminated in two and a half hours of glitz and glamour. Over a million voters had logged on to vote their CNN hero of the year.

Contrary to what I originally thought would be-a drab humanitarian business-perhaps this event could be ranked side-by-side with the Grammy and the Oscar. Hollywood actors and actress graced and played cameo compeer roles throughout the event. John Legend and Pop divas, Christiana Aguilera and Alicia Keys thrilled a very lively audience.

Well you could call this the humanitarian Oscar. Ten remarkable people who had played iconic roles in the lives of millions were pitched in a titanic battle for the inaugural Hero of the year award.

In this year’s event everyone’s winner, $100,000 to the overall winner and the remaining nine receive $25,000 for their gallant efforts for their gallantry.

Without much ado, the programme commenced with a roll-call and insets on all the contestants. Remarkably there were three Africans in the mix; Yohannes Gebregeorgis, an Ethiopian who was moved by the shortage of children’s books and literacy in his native Ethiopia, that he established “Ethiopia Reads”, bringing free public libraries and literacy programs to thousands of Ethiopian children.

Marie Da Silva, who lost 14 family members to AIDS, then afterwards took up the role of a nanny funding a school in her hometown in Malawi, where at least half a million children have been orphaned by the disease. 6years on, and Marie offers free services to over 230 children charge.

Viola Vaughn Kaolack, the last of 3 Africans nominated for the epoch making event moved from the Detroit, Michigan, to Senegal to retire. Instead, a group of failing schoolchildren asked her to help them pass their classes. Today, her 10,000 Girls program is helping hundreds of girls succeed in school and run their own businesses.

Other awardees recognized were Liz McCartney from New Orleans, Phymean Noun from Cambodia; Anne Mahlum from North Philadelphia; Carolyn LeCroy; Norfolk- Virginia, David Puckett from Savannah, Georgia, Maria Ruiz, from Texas and Tad Agoglia from Texas. Each one of them had an outstanding story but was united in the freewill offering of humanitarian services to several thousand needy and impoverished people.

‘Liz McCartney’, Anderson Cooper announced the 2008 CNN hero of the year; the climax of the night’s event. Liz McCartney had dedicated her time and resources in helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes. At last count, she’d helped 120 families for no-fee.Her award came as a result of a million votes polled in her favour.

Mary, CONNECTAFRICA

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