Pushpa Basnet of Kathmandu, Nepal, is the 2012 CNN Hero of the Year
Host Anderson Cooper Reveals Top Hero During Sixth Annual CNN heroes: An All Star Tribute; Academy Award Winning Actress Susan Sarandon Presents Award
Los Angeles – The Hollywood community came out in full force on Sunday night for the Sixth Annual CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, as host Anderson Cooper revealed that Pushpa Basnet, of Kathmandu, Nepal, is the 2012 CNN “Hero of the Year.”
Earlier in the evening, Academy Award winning actress Susan Sarandon presented Basnet with an award as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2012. Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes received $50,000 in recognition of their work, and Basnet’s nonprofit, the Early Childhood Development Center, will receive an additional $250,000 grant.
Basnet, shocked to learn that children were living in Nepali prisons with their parents, started the Early Childhood Development Center when she was only 21. Since 2005, she has provided such support as housing, education, and medical care to more than 140 children of incarcerated parents. For more information on Basnet and the Early Childhood Development Centrer, please log on to: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/2012.heroes/pushpa.basnet.html
Celebrities from film, television, music and sports took an active part in the prestigious event by presenting the awards and telling the individual heroes’ stories. Harvey Keitel opened the evening with a special message. The presenters of the Top 10 CNN Heroes awards were 50 Cent, Maria Bello, Adrien Brody, Viola Davis, Josh Duhamel, Jeff Gordon, Cullen Jones, Jane Lynch, Susan Sarandon, and Rainn Wilson. Additionally, David Spade, Rico Rodriguez, and Miranda Cosgrove honored three “Young Wonders” – children who have already made a difference in their communities.
Adding to the excitement of the evening, and in keeping with the event’s theme, three–time Grammy winner NE–YO performed his song “Heroes,” while American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips treated the audience to his competition–winning hit song “Home.”
CNN Heroes is a multi–platform campaign that shines a spotlight on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others. The initiative has received more than 45,000 nominations from more than 100 countries and profiled over 180 everyday heroes doing extraordinary work.
New this year, the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide, has added to the prize package for the Top 10 CNN Heroes. Annenberg will help selected CNN Heroes further their work. They will receive free training by The Annenberg Foundation with a customized version of its Annenberg Alchemy program, which provides practical guidance for nonprofit leaders in fundraising, communications, management of volunteers, and strategies to build and keep a strong board of directors.
Viewers may continue to donate to any of this year’s 10 honorees at CNNHeroes.com. Through December 31, Google will waive all transaction fees, ensuring that 100% of those donations go directly to each Hero’s designated nonprofit.
This year’s CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute was sponsored by BP, GEICO, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, SERVPRO®, Subaru of America, Inc., and Tide.
For more information, including photos and video highlights from CNN Heroes: An All–Star Tribute, plus information on all the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2012 please visit CNNHeroes.com
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