he attended night school to get a high school education. For six years,
he woke at 3:30 a.m. to study law, and now in his first case, he is up
against the oil industry in a major environmental lawsuit.
-- VIEWERS' CHOICE AWARD - Pat Pedraja, 12, of Tampa, Fla., who embarked
on a one-kid mission to change the makeup of the nation's bone marrow
registry. A leukemia patient himself but not one in need of a marrow
transplant, Pat visited 30 states through his "Driving for Donors"
program to encourage minorities like himself to become donors. In just
three months, Pat raised more than $100,000 and helped sign up more
than 5,000 people to the registry.
In addition to honoring everyday heroes, the tribute telecast paid special recognition to Christopher Reeve with the presentation of the inaugural CNN Heroes' Hero award. After a tragic horse-riding accident, Reeve along with his wife, Dana, formed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to support efforts to find cures and treatments for spinal cord injuries and to improve the lives of people living with paralysis. Reeve's eldest children, Matthew and Alexandra, along with Peter D. Kiernan, chairman of the board of the Reeve Foundation, accepted the award.
The gala tribute included performances from Grammy Award winners Mary J. Blige and Sheryl Crow and a duet by Grammy Award winner Norah Jones and acclaimed performer-producer Wyclef Jean and appearances from Tyra Banks, Glenn Close, Harry Connick, Jr., Rosario Dawson, Kyra Sedgwick, Jimmy Smits and Mira Sorvino.
Joel Gallen, who has helmed ambitious telethon events supporting
victims of both the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina,
served as executive producer for the event. Gallen won a Peabody Award for
"America: A Tribute to Heroes" and has been nominated for several Emmys
throughout his career. Kelly Flynn is
|SOURCE CNN Worldwide|
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