CNN to Recognize Its Heroes

CNN announced the finalists for its Heroes initiative, the culmination of a five-month audience-nomination process that singles out the accomplishments of regular folks.

There are six categories -- Medical Marvel, Young Wonder, Championing Children, Community Crusader, Defending the Planet and Fighting for Justice -- with three nominees in each category.

Among the nominees are Scott Loeff of Chicago, who founded a camp for children with Tourette’s syndrome in the Medical Marvel category; and Florence Cassassuce of La Paz, Mexico, who invented a five-gallon bucket that purifies several days’ of water in four minutes.

Honorees will be announced Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. (EST) during a star-studded ceremony at New York’s American Museum of Natural History co-hosted by Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour.

CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute will be carried live on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Español.

During the inaugural year of the initiative, CNN received more than 7,000 nominations from viewers in 80 countries.