anderson cooper 2011  getty CNN announces finalists for 'Hero of the Year'CNN has announced the ten honorees for its fifth-annual “Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.” The program, which will air on Dec. 11, recognizes people who have made significant efforts to improve the lives of others.

Network personality Anderson Cooper will host the program and will award a $50,000 grant to each of the ten. One of the finalists will be named “CNN Hero of the Year,” receiving an additional $250,000 for their cause.

Here’s a list of this year’s “Heroes.”

Amy Stokes — Created “Infinite Family” in 2006, which uses the Internet to connect teens in sub-Saharan Africa to adult mentor volunteers from around the world.

Bruno Serato — Started “Caterina’s Club,” which feeds nearly 200 children seven nights a week in Orange County, CA.

Derreck Kayongo — His “Global Soap Project” has collected and shipped 100 tons of soap left behind at hotels to developing nations like Haiti, Kenya and Uganda where an estimated 2 million children die each year due to sanitation issues.

Diane Latiker — Started a “Kids Off the Block” community program in Chicago. The center offers tutoring, mentoring, job training and other activities to keep children out of gangs and build their futures.
Eddie Canales — Began “Gridiron Heroes”, which provides emotional and financial support to Texas high school football players who’ve sustained spinal cord injuries.
Elena Dur�n Miranda
— She founded “P.E.T.I.S.O.S.” (Prevention and Eradication of Child Labor) in Argentina to provide free after-school programs as well as access to education, counseling and medical care to 200 children.
Patrice Millet — Started the “FONDAPS” youth soccer program, which provides free equipment, coaching and food to hundreds of children in the impoverished areas of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Robin Lim — Founded “Yayasan Bumi Sehat” (Healthy Mother Earth Clinic), which provides medical assistance to thousands of women in Indonesia.
Sal Dimicelli — Began the Wisconsin nonprofit, “The Time Is Now To Help” which helps about 500 people a year with food, rent, utilities and other necessities.
Taryn Davis — Created the American Widow Project which connects 900 young military widows and helps them honor their husbands while celebrating life.

Those interested in voting on “Hero of the Year” can go to

Posted by:David Eckstein