November 19th, 2013

Chad Pregracke Of East Moline, IL Is The 2013 CNN “Hero Of The Year”


CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute, hosted by Anderson Cooper, airs Sunday, December 1 at 8:00pm ET  

(New York)November 19, 2013 – Stars of film, television, music and theater came to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City on Tuesday night to pay tribute to the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2013 and congratulate CNN Hero of the Year Chad Pregracke of East Moline, Illinois, whose selection was announced by Anderson Cooper, host of the seventh Annual CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute.  The program airs on Sunday, December 1 at 8:00pm ET, and will be simulcast on CNNI and CNN Espanol.

Pregracke has dedicated his life to cleaning up the Mississippi River and other American waterways. Since 1998, nearly 70,000 volunteers have helped Pregracke and his non-profit remove more than 7 million pounds of garbage from 23 rivers across the country. 

Earlier in the evening, Jason Biggs, one of the stars of ‘Orange is the New Black presented Pregracke with an award as one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of 2013. Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes received $50,000 in recognition of their work, and Pregracke’s  nonprofit, Living Lands and Waters, will receive an additional $250,000 grant.

 The evening’s celebrity presenters were Sarah Silverman, Kelly Ripa, Michael Strahan, Mariska Hargitay, Alan Cumming, Allison Williams, Shay Mitchell, Jason Biggs, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Lucas, and Ne-Yo, each of whom introduced a story about the honorees.

The 2013 Top 10 CNN Heroes include Dale Beatty (Statesville, NC), Georges Bwelle (Yaoundé, Cameroon), Robin Emmons (Charlotte, NC), Danielle Gletow (Trenton, NJ), Tawanda Jones (Camden, NJ), Richard Nares (San Diego, CA), Kakenya Ntaiya (Enoosaen, Kenya), Estella Pyfrom (West Palm Beach, FL), and Laura Stachel (Berkeley, CA).

Contributing their talents to the festive night were pop singer Sarah Bareilles, who performed a touching rendition of her current hit “Brave,” and stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan.  Another highlight of the evening was a performance by members of CNN Hero Tawanda Jones’ girls drill team, Camden Sophisticated Sisters, to Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.”

CNN Heroes is a multi-platform campaign that shines a spotlight on individuals who go to extraordinary lengths to serve others. Since its inception, CNN Heroes has received over 50,000 submissions from more than 100 countries and profiled over 200 heroes.

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

This year, CNN continues its collaboration with the Annenberg Foundation, a leading supporter of nonprofits worldwide. As part of the prize package, the Annenberg Foundation will provide all of the 2013 Top 10 Heroes, and selected Heroes from previous years, free organizational training through a customized version of the Annenberg Alchemy programAlchemy offers practical guidance for nonprofit leaders in fundraising, communications, management of volunteers and strategies to build and keep a strong board of directors.

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 several projects that expand and complement its grant support to nonprofits.  Among them are Annenberg Alchemy,, Annenberg Space for Photography, Explore, GRoW and the Metabolic Studio.  The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share 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