Heroes and celebrities converged at the American Museum of Natural History for the CNN Heroes: An All-star Tribute taping on Tuesday.
The event, which was hosted by Anderson Cooper, will air Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET.
The heroes program, now in its seventh year, honors people for their humanitarian efforts. CNN has received 50,000 nominations from more than 100 countries. The public cast votes for their favorite Top 10 hero to be named Hero of the Year.
Those in the top 10 received $50,000 for their causes and the winner of Hero of the Year received an additional $250,000.
The 2013 heroes were: Chad Pregracke, Dale Beatty, Danielle Gletow, Estella Pyfrom, Georges Bwelle, Kakenya Ntaiya, Laura Stachel, Richard Nares, Robin Emmons and Tawanda Jones.
Their projects ranged from finding energy solutions for health care in developing countries to providing rides for doctor’s appointments for children with cancer. Pregracke won the CNN Hero of the Year.
Celebrity presenters joined the heroes on stage to share their stories. Presenters included actors Alan Cumming, Allison Williams, Jason Biggs, Jeffrey Wright, Josh Lucas, Live with Kelly and Michael hosts Kelly Ripa and Michel Strahan, actress Mariska Hargitay, musician Ne-Yo, comedian Sarah Silverman and actress Shay Mitchell. Comedian Jim Gaffigan and musician Sara Bareilles performed.
Others in attendance were actress Betsy Brandt, NY1 anchor Pat Keirnan and actor Terry Crews as well as CNN’s New Day hosts Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, Michaela Pereira, reporter and Unguarded host Rachel Nichols, weekend primetime Newsroom anchor Don Lemon and Piers Morgan Tonight host Piers Morgan.
B&C spoke to a few attendees. Some of the highlights:
“My take away from the whole thing is, you can’t pick,” said Bolduan. “It’s an impossible task to pick one perfect hero because when you look at them they make you think, ‘What have you done today?’ They’ve all done such amazing things everyday.”
“I remember one last year that was amazing. It was a guy who collected used soap from hotels because hotel chains threw it away after people used it once,” said Morgan. “He collected all that spare soap and gave it to people that needed it. It made a huge difference. And what a simple idea; if you think about the number of people who use hotels and never had the idea. You’ve got to have the idea and the drive to do it.”
“Any time you have a platform like CNN, you can ask anyone of our heroes, past or present, they will tell you once they became a CNN hero, things went to a different level for them,” said Lemon. “Maybe they’ve built five houses before, ten or 15, and then all of the sudden they become a CNN hero, and they build 80 houses, 90 houses, 100 houses. They are taking families who may have been homeless and turning them into homeowners. That’s a difference and that’s what happens once you become a CNN hero.”
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