Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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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

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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