While not actually planned as part of National Adoption Month, I can’t think of a better way to honor the cause, than raising money for an organization that helps orphans around the world led by renowned adoption medicine specialist, Dr. Jane Aronson.
On November 1, Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO) honored CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper for his extraordinary reporting on the plight of Haiti’s orphans and vulnerable children at its Sixth Annual Benefit Gala in New York. The benefit raised more than $1 million. WWO, founded by Maplewood resident Dr. Jane Aronson, is dedicated to transforming the lives of orphaned children around the world.
The gala was co-hosted by Heidi Klum and her hubby, Grammy Award-winning singer Seal. More than 700 patrons and friends of WWO attended the star-studded affair, held at the Cipriani Wall Street. The 2010 Gala theme was “…reaching out and reaching deep.”
CNN’s Cooper received the WWO Honorary Orphan Ranger award in recognition of his in-depth reporting on Haiti and outstanding coverage of Haiti’s orphaned and vulnerable children in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that rocked the island on January 2010.
Cooper reflected on his experience reporting on Haiti, particularly the country’s vulnerable children, following the natural disaster. He thanked WWO for the award and also Dr. Aronson for providing her insight on Haiti’s orphan crisis and international adoption as a guest on his award-winning news show, Anderson Cooper 360°. “Nobody cares for kids more than Dr. Aronson,” said Anderson.
Guests viewed an inspiring short film on the impact of WWO programs in the countries where it serves. Aronson issued an appeal to guests to support the work of WWO. After receiving a $100,000 matching gift from board Chair Janet Kagan and her husband, Howard, guests raised an additional $195,000. American children who served as “WWO Service Rangers” at the WWO-sponsored Des’ Village summer camp collected pledges from gala guests.