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O’Donnell to be honored for protecting children

O’Donnell to be honored for protecting children

The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children will honor Rosie O'Donnell and other executives at its 2006 gala for their commitment to protecting endangered children. The event will take place October 30 at the Pierre hotel in New York City.

O'Donnell said in a statement, "I believe wholeheartedly in the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children's message that child abuse is preventable--if and only if entire communities, including neighbors, acquaintances, teachers, relatives, and bystanders, make themselves accountable and report what they see. The NYSPCC's contribution to the welfare of New York City's children is significant, and I feel honored to be recognized by an organization with such an important history, track record, and mission."

NYSPCC is the world's first child protection agency, founded in Manhattan in 1875. Since it was first formed, the NYSPCC has investigated over 650,000 cases on the behalf of 2 million children and has several additional programs focused on protecting children.

"It's our privilege to be honoring and hosting Rosie," said NYSPCC president David Stack in a statement. "Her Rosie's for All Kids Foundation has awarded more than $22 million in grants to over 1,400 child-related organizations, and that's just one of her many impressive activities on behalf of children."

In addition to her foundation work, O'Donnell has established a fund to provide $3 million to children and families displaced by Hurricane Katrina as well as established Rosie's Broadway Kids, which provides in-school, after-school, and summer instruction in musical theater to public-school children in New York.

"Rosie O'Donnell, in addition to being one of the nation's most talented and engaging television, theatrical, and public personalities, is a tireless crusader for children," Stack said. "Her commitment to and impressive work on behalf of children dovetail with our deep belief that the well-being and protection of children are the responsibility of everyone--the entire community."

The event will be emceed by Emmy award-winning anchor Deborah Norville; toy company executives Michael and Dana Goldstein will also be honored at the event. Other gala highlights will include an auction of children's books signed and authored by celebrities and donated by Scholastic; edible centerpieces by renowned chocolatier Joseph Schmidt, donated by Hershey's; and dance music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. Signers-authors include: Sen. Ted Kennedy, Billy Joel, Jason Alexander, Ed Bradley, Glenn Close, Shaquille O'Neal, and Will Smith. (The Advocate)

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