Last Saturday night, Hollywood celebrities decked out in their flashy suits and designers dresses for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute 2009 at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles.
Big names such as Neil Patrick Harris, Kate Hudson, and Dwayne â€œThe Rockâ€ Johnson showed their full support to the real â€œstarsâ€ that night.
â€œThere are so many awards shows every year for the Hollywood community that participating in something as effective as this makes those others feel inconsequential and provides perspective,â€ Neil Patrick Harris said.
The ceremony honored top 10 ordinary citizens all over the world for making a difference in the lives of other people. CNN viewers voted for their favorites from the 28 finalists, and the top ten heroes each received $25,000. The biggest winner of the night is 28-year-old Efren Penaflorida Jr. from the Philippines, who received a grant of $100,000 for being CNNâ€™s Hero of the Year.
CNN Hero of the Year, Efren Penaflorida. Photo from Ako Mismo.
Penaflorida was recognized for his â€œpushcart classroomâ€â€”a program that educates poor children by bringing a pushcart of books to the slums. As a child, he chose school over the gang life and vowed to help other children choose the same path. His small idea grew into the 10,000-member Dynamic Teen Company, which has taught reading, writing, and hygiene to 1,500 kids so far.
To see which stars paid tribute to which heroes, watch the coverage on 9 p.m. EST Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, on CNN, CNN International and CNN en Espanol. Also visit CNNâ€™s website.