Cokie Roberts and Darius Rucker joined the celebration for Make A Difference Day Award Honorees. / Toby Jorrin for USA WEEKEND
Members of Congress, journalist Cokie Roberts and singer Darius Rucker were on hand to salute USA WEEKEND Magazine's 2011 Make A Difference Day Award Honorees at a luncheon on Capitol Hill in April.
Those receiving honors were chosen from the efforts of millions for their volunteer work on Make A Difference Day 2010. The 10 honorees include a 14-year old Texas Eagle Scout, a Michigan couple in their 70s and two Connecticut sisters ages 8 and 9.
Each of the 10 honorees received a framed award and $10,000 donation to their chosen charity from Newman's Own to continue their good work. Three cities also were recognized with awards and $10,000 donations.
Rucker, who is spokesman for the PGA Tour Charities and whose own charitable efforts include the Hootie & The Blowish Foundation, is a longtime fan of Make A Difference Day.
“For me, it's important to get involved in any cause that I see is a good cause,” Rucker says. “There are so many people who want to do something, but their lives are busy and they think, ‘When can I find time?' This is a day when you can plan to do something — it's an amazing idea.”
Among the honorees: Joanne and Ray Marcil of Rochester Hills, Mich., who were recognized for rallying their community into its 19th annual Make A Difference Day Flea Market. The market raised $13,000 for charity.
“We can't do this alone — we're representing our community,” Joanne Marcil says. “They're the workers. They give their hearts.”
Rucker is inspired that the honorees will keep giving: “They didn't win awards and stop helping. They're still doing it.”
The next Make A Difference Day is Saturday, Oct. 22.