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CNN awards honor real-life heroes

Crow, Connick will perform at event

CNN’s first awards show, “CNN Heroes,” airing Dec. 6 at 9 p.m., may be the only live kudofest at which an obscure Kenyan doctor draws more applause than Sheryl Crow.

Awards laud average Joes who have gone above and beyond in a variety of ways.

Nominees range from Mexican inventor Florence Cassassuce, who devised a super-fast water purifier, to Seattle’s Peter Kithene, a native Kenyan who founded a medical clinic in Muhuru Bay, Kenya, that both employs and serves the economically fragile community.

The show will include perfs and presentations by Crow, Rosario Dawson, Tyra Banks and Harry Connick Jr., among others.

CNN will reward do-gooders in six seemingly comicbook-inspired categories (including “medical marvel” and “young wonder”) with $25,000 prizes. The eighteen finalists have already received $10,000 awards.

“It became clear to use that there were people out there doing amazing things who weren’t necessarily being recognized for it,” said Sue Bunda, CNN Worldwide’s exec VP of content development and strategy.

The show comes out of a five-month process of searching for nominees and soliciting them from CNN viewers, who submitted some 7,000 suggestions online.

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