Ben Affleck, Tony Blair and Greenwich residents honored

Ben Affleck with Save the Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council who received the National Voices of Children Award at the organization’s Illumination Gala in New York City on Nov. 19. The Council was recognized for raising awareness, fundraising, and engaging their local communities to make a difference for children in need throughout the world.

Ben Affleck with Save the Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council who received the National Voices of Children Award at the organization’s Illumination Gala in New York City on Nov. 19. The Council was recognized for raising awareness, fundraising, and engaging their local communities to make a difference for children in need throughout the world.

Save the Children, a leading, independent organization for children in need in the United States and around the world, held its 2nd Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala which honored Ben Affleck, former British prime minister Tony Blair, Austin Hearst, T.J. Maxx and more.

The event was hosted by Save the Children artist ambassador and trustee Jennifer Garner, and took place on Nov. 19, at The Plaza hotel in New York City. Grammy Award-winning vocalist Trisha Yearwood performed. The gala benefited the organization’s efforts to give more children a stronger start in life by helping end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths and supporting early childhood education. In celebration of the occasion, Save the Children honored the following esteemed guests for their achievements in giving children a brighter future:

The Global Child Advocate Award was given to Mr. Affleck, actor, filmmaker and founder of Eastern Congo Initiative. He was recognized for his dedication to securing a peaceful and stable future for the children of eastern Congo, one of the world’s poorest and most war-torn countries. Through Eastern Congo Initiative, which Mr. Affleck founded in 2010, local organizations in nine rural areas have provided access to quality health services and preventative care for more than 23,000 women and 18,000 children. In these communities, 17% of Congolese say their families have suffered from the death of an infant.

Mr.  Blair earned The Global Legacy Award. Mr. Blair led the G8 nations at Gleneagles to pledge to “make poverty history” and steered these nations to agree to relieve $40 billion in debt owed by poverty-stricken countries and also for his continued commitment to Africa through his Foundation — the Africa Governance Initiative.

The National Humanitarian Award was given to Austin Hearst, who was recognized for ensuring that children living in some of the poorest parts of the world, including rural America, have an early start on learning. Having served as a Save the Children trustee for more than a decade, Mr. Hearst has helped secure millions of dollars in funding for the organization’s early childhood development work in the United States and around the world.

T.J. Maxx CEO Ernie Herrman accepted The National Responsibility Award. The company has been supporting Save the Children’s work for over 30 years and has provided more than $25 million to help to deliver early childhood education programs to thousands of American children in need.

The Global Child Service Award was given to Aziza Begum, a paramedic from Bangladesh who was recognized for rallying the remote Ajmiriganj community and health workers to identify pregnant women early and enroll them in care. The resulting unprecedented increase of successful births at the health facility led the government of Bangladesh to honor the rural government health facility, where she works alongside the government health workers.

The National Voices for Children Award for Save the Children’s Long Island and Greenwich Leadership Councils, which was recognized for a combined total of 40 years of raising awareness, fundraising and engaging their local communities to make a difference for children in need throughout the world.

“This year’s gala honorees share an unwavering commitment to giving children living in the poorest, toughest places on earth a stronger start in life. Through their work, more babies and toddlers are getting the right health care, early learning opportunities, and a greater chance to reach their full potential,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children president and CEO. “The event was a special evening that shined the spotlight on the outstanding achievements of our guests of honor.”

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