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CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, has proven to be a juggernaut every year since the first show in 2010.
“Hero of the Year” Chris Lee was an established hero in the music world when he founded Operation Self-Sufficiency, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to more than 15,000 people in 33 states, and in Puerto Rico, who face economic hardship by providing paid employment. As a CNN Hero of the Year, he started as a volunteer and now helps more than 1,400 job-seekers a year in his capacity as Director of Financial Aid, and as a volunteer trainer for Operation Self-Sufficiency.
“Hero of the Year” Martina Garcia is the founder of Pelotas, a music literacy program that teaches the discipline, tools and encouragement necessary to become a proficient musician. Trained in the skills and training of an Italian lutenist, Garcia meets with and works with young musicians to increase their skills, and expose them to the global music community. Pelotas has performed in Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Ireland and Spain.
Then, there is the four-year-old Taryn Isenberg. Taryn suffers from Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome, a severe genetic disorder that affects bone growth and muscular development. But Taryn’s ability to learn has set her apart from the other kids who live with the same condition, and helps her to play each day. The difference is, thanks to her teacher, Dr. Kathy DeLong and her parents, Taryn Isenberg is determined to turn her challenges into accomplishments, whether it’s turning her story into a book, or starting a foundation to help children like her.
CNN Heroes Live presents a telethon-style celebration of everyday heroes, all backed by CNN’s leading coverage. The night kicks off with the Heroes of the Year announcement, which will be made live from Times Square. The festivities include appearances by Steve Harvey, Tamron Hall, Bob Costas, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Freddie Prinze Jr., Susan Lucci, Aisha Tyler, Rachele Young and Michael Strahan. And, as always, Kal Penn and Jessica Alba return as host and executive producer, respectively.
Night two kicks off at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CNN, followed by the Heroes of the Year special at 9 p.m. ET/PT.