AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for Americans ages 50+, with nearly 30 million readers, today announced the winners of the 2007 Impact Awards. The Awards pay tribute to 10 extraordinary people who have made the world a better place through their innovative thinking, passion and perseverance. The honorees will receive their awards at a private luncheon held at the New York Public Library on December 18, 2006 and are profiled in the January/February 2007 issue of AARP The Magazine and at www.aarpmagazine.org.
“The Impact Awards spotlight the power individuals have to change the world,” says Steve Slon, the magazine’s editor. “As an organization devoted to making life better for all Americans, AARP is proud to honor these ten remarkable people who prove you can make a difference at any age.”
The 2007 Impact Award Winners:
Robert De Niro—Champion of Livable Communities
Academy Award-winning actor and director Robert De Niro was in Manhattan the morning of September 11, 2001, and watched as the World Trade Center Twin Towers collapsed. For the native New Yorker, the terrorist attacks devastated not only his country but the community he loved. To help rebuild downtown New York City, De Niro co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival, which has pumped $325 million into the local economy and helped the Tribeca neighborhood regain it’s sense of community. In 2006, the festival attracted 465,000 people to see over 800 screenings of films from 40 countries.
David Hyde Pierce—Alzheimer’s Association Spokesperson
Emmy Award-winning actor David Hyde Pierce’s commitment to his role as spokesperson for the Alzheimer’s Association is personal. Alzheimer’s claimed the lives of his father and grandfather and was a factor in the deaths of his mother and grandmother. Since 1994, Pierce, best known as Niles Crane on Frasier, has tirelessly toured the country raising money for research, testifying before Congress and loaning his celebrity name to raise awareness of the disease that afflicts 4.5 million Americans.
Jim Larranaga—Model Coach for Healthy Behaviors
In one of the most exhilarating NCAA Tournament runs in hoops history, Coach Jim Larranaga’s George Mason Patriots, a group of overachieving underdogs, did more than beat the March Madness odds: they became America’s team, beating three former national champions in a little over a week to make it to the Final Four. In a game often taken too seriously, Larranaga asked just one thing of his players: Have fun.
Valerie Harper—World Hunger Fighter
Since 1977, Valerie Harper, best known for her Emmy Award-winning turn as Mary Tyler Moore’s sassy sidekick Rhoda, has channeled much of her prodigious energy into The Hunger Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating hunger, in part by empowering women. The Hunger Project, which has aided some 2.5 million people in 13 developing countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America, provides women with loans for businesses and farms, promotes girls’ education and helps build food banks and health clinics.