Subaru Returned as a Major Brand Partner for the 12th Annual CNN Heroes Broadcast

By A.J. Katz 

The 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute ceremony aired live last night on CNN, and was co-hosted for the third consecutive year by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Kelly Ripa…and Will Ferrell (see below).

The annual ceremony honors everyday individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to help improve the lives of others, and it was held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

“This show is better than therapy…just ask my therapist!” quipped Ripa.

Among those in attendance at the 2018 CNN Heroes included CNN’s Jeff Zucker, Don Lemon, Brooke Baldwin, Erica Hill, Christine Romans, Kate Bolduan, Aliysyn Camerota, SE Cupp, and they were joined by Bryan Cranston, John C. Reilly, Danai Gurira, the aforementioned Will Ferrell, Ted Danson, and Lenny Kravitz.

Additionally, Sully, former President George H.W. Bush‘s service dog, was part of the festivities as the network honored an incredible cast of everyday heroes for the 12th consecutive year.

Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong, a physician from Lima, Peru was named CNN’s 2018 Hero of the Year for his efforts to provide free housing, meals and support for sick children and their families while they undergo treatment.

Pun-Chong was selected by online voters, and received an additional $100,000. He remarked on stage that he’ll be able to triple his efforts thanks to the gift.

“We can start building our new shelter with this — with this prize, we can triple our assistance,” Pun-Chong said. “Thank you so much CNN — thank you so much everybody.”

For the 11th consecutive year, Subaru was a major brand partner for the event. The company is matching donations to all of 2018’s Top 10 Heroes (named below) up to $50,000 per hero. Other major CNN Heroes brand partners for 2018 included Geico, Humana, Novartis and Servpro.

Here are the remaining top 10 CNN Heroes for 2018:

Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin, a computer programmer in Lagos, Nigeria, teaches impoverished women in the city’s slums how to code through a program run by the Pearls Africa Foundation.

Maria Rose Belding launched MEANS, a platform that reduces food waste by connecting restaurants and businesses with extra food to charities that feed the hungry.

After she was paralyzed in a ski accident, Amanda Boxtel started Bridging Bionics — a nonprofit that provides high-tech physical therapy to people with mobility impairments near Aspen, Colorado.

Dr. Rob Gore, an emergency physician in Brooklyn, New York, founded the Kings Against Violence Initiative, which leads anti-violence programs in his community.

Luke Mickelson quit his high-paying job to found Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a nonprofit that builds and delivers beds to children in need.

Susan Munsey escaped from a life of sex trafficking and in 2009 started GenerateHope, a group that provides housing, therapy and more to survivors of sex trafficking.

At age 87, Florence Phillips still leads her nonprofit — ESL In-Home Program of Northern Nevada — which provides free English, computer and GED classes to immigrants.

Ellen Stackable is a former English teacher who founded Poetic Justice, a nonprofit that teaches creative writing to incarcerated women in Oklahoma.

Former US Army Corporal Chris Stout started the Veterans Community Project, which connects homeless veterans with housing and other essential services.