For the past 20-plus years, I’ve had the privilege of handling public relations for The Christophers and their annual Christopher Awards presentation. The 67th annual event Thursday night was, as always, an inspirational and humbling evening.
The Christopher Awards recognize the creators of work in film, TV/cable and books that demonstrate the Christophers’ motto – It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. So it’s fitting that the winners aren’t necessarily the same films that are up for Oscars, or TV programs that get the highest Nielsen ratings or books that are on the New York Times best-seller list. They are selected and honored because they tell stories of individuals who, in their own way, do something to make the world a better place. A very simple concept.
Below: Award-winner, TV news vet Ernie Anastos
Every time I work the Christopher Awards, I get to meet some awesome people. Most are people whose names you wouldn’t recognize, like 2015 honoree Patrick Donohue, who started a school for kids with brain damage after his baby daughter suffered damage after being shaken by her nurse. The iHope school in New York is a model for schools in other major cities, where brain- damaged children can get an education.
And some winners are “names,” like Fred Rogers -- Mr. Rogers – with whom I had beautiful chat that touched me. Or Tim Shriver of the Kennedy clan and leader of the Special Olympics. Or Bob McGrath, star of one of my favorite shows, “Sesame Street.” Or Charles Osgood and Bob Schieffer of CBS News. And “The Voice” – James Earl Jones.
This year’s honorees are an impressive group that includes the creators of 21 books, TV shows and feature films. And a special Lifetime Achievement Award was given to someone who’s been a fixture on TV news in New York for decades – Ernie Anastos, a genuinely nice man.
I always leave the event feeling refreshed, peaceful and thankful that there are so many good people who are using their creative energy to inspire and help others. It reminds me that, despite all the craziness in our world today, there IS a lot of good. It’s a very good feeling, and it carries me through the days and weeks ahead.
Click here for a video report on the event from our friends at World Liberty TV.