October 8th, 2015
09:21 AM ET

CNN Announces The Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2015

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VOTING TO SELECT THE ‘CNN HERO OF THE YEAR’ BEGINS TODAY ON CNNHEROES.COM

CNN HEROES: AN ALL-STAR TRIBUTE, HOSTED BY ANDERSON COOPER, AIRS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6

Continuing its annual tradition of recognizing everyday people who are changing the world, Anderson Cooper revealed the 2015 Top 10 CNN Heroes this morning on CNN's New Day.

CNN Heroes, now in its ninth year, celebrates individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to help improve the lives of others. This year’s Top 10 will be honored at CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. The Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated telecast airs on Sunday, December 6th, at 8:00 p.m. ET on CNN U.S., and will be simulcast on CNN International and CNN en Español.

Voting to select the ‘CNN Hero of the Year’ began immediately following this morning’s announcement. Fans of each of the Top 10 Heroes can show their support by voting for the hero that inspires them most."In our ninth year, I am heartened to know the world hasn't run out of Heroes,” said Kelly Flynn, creator and senior executive producer of CNN Heroes. “We continue to be humbled by their work, and honored to be telling their stories."

The 2015 Honorees are:

  • Bhagwati Agrawal (Vienna, VA) Bhagwati Agrawal’s organization, Sustainable Innovations, has created a rainwater harvesting system that provides water to more than 10,000 people in six drought-stricken villages in India.
  • Kim Carter (San Bernardino, CA) Kim Carter cycled in and out of prison and homelessness. Today, her nonprofit, Time for Change Foundation, helps homeless women reclaim their lives.
  • Maggie Doyne (Mendham, NJ) After traveling in war-torn Nepal in 2006, Maggie Doyne changed her life’s course. Today, she and her nonprofit, Blink Now Foundation, care for and educate hundreds of children.
  • Jody Farley-Berens (Scottsdale, AZ) Jody Farley-Berens co-founded Singleton Moms to support single moms battling cancer. The group provides housecleaning, meals and financial aid to more than 300 parents in Arizona.
  • Sean Gobin (Charlottesville, VA) Sean Gobin’s organization, Warrior Hike, helps combat veterans connect with nature and process issues, as they “walk off the war” on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Daniel Ivankovich (Glenview, IL) Since 2010, Dr. Daniel Ivankovich and his organization, One Patient Global Health Initiative, have treated more than 100,000 uninsured or underinsured patients in Chicago’s troubled neighborhoods.
  • Richard Joyner (Conetoe, NC) Richard Joyner is encouraging healthier lifestyles in the rural town of Conetoe, NC, by helping young people grow 50,000 pounds of fresh food a year with his non-profit Conetoe Family Life Center.
  • Monique Pool (Suriname) Since 2005, Monique Pool and Green Heritage Fund Suriname have rescued, rehabilitated and released more than 600 sloths and other animals to the rainforest in Suriname.
  • Rochelle Ripley (Glastonbury, CT) Rochelle Ripley and her nonprofit, hawkwing, provide healthcare and education opportunities to the Lakota people in South Dakota.
  • Jim Withers (Pittsburgh, PA) Dr. Jim Withers and his group, Operation Safety Net, bring medical care to the homeless on Pittsburgh’s streets. Since 1992, they have reached more than 10,000 individuals and helped more than 1,200 of them transition into housing.

Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes receives $10,000. Following global voting, the ‘CNN Hero of the Year’ receives an additional $100,000 grant to further aid their work. Supporters can vote once a day, every day, online or through Facebook at CNNHeroes.com through Sunday, November 15, at midnight PT. Voting is also possible through the CNN mobile app.

Returning to New York City’s iconic American Museum of Natural History, CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute is unlike any other award show. The star-studded salute shines a spotlight on each of the year’s Top 10 CNN Heroes, whose selfless dedication to their cause is truly making a difference. CNN has profiled more than 200heroes since the show began in 2007.

As part of their award package, each Top 10 Hero will also receive free organizational training from the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide. The Heroes will participate in a customized version of the Annenberg Alchemy program, which offers practical guidance to help strengthen organizations for long-term success.

For the latest information about the Top 10 CNN Heroes, visit CNN Heroes on Facebook, follow @CNNHeroes on Twitter and use the hashtag #CNNHeroes. Additionally, behind-the-scenes CNN Heroes images can be found on the CNN Heroes’ Instagram account.

About The Annenberg Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation that provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. Since 1989, it has generously funded programs in education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community life; health and human services; and animal services and the environment. In addition, the Foundation and its Board of Directors are directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission of advancing a better tomorrow through visionary leadership today. Among them are Annenberg Alchemy, Annenberg Learner, Annenberg Space for Photography, Explore, GRoW and the Metabolic Studio. The Foundation encourages the development of effective ways to communicate by sharing ideas and knowledge.

About CNN Worldwide
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of news Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media. For more information, visit CNNPressroom.com.

Press Contact:
April Andrews, CNN Communications, 404-878-5017, april.andrews@cnn.com


Topics: Anderson Cooper • CNN Heroes
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