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Cokie Roberts and Darius Rucker joined the celebration for Make A Difference Day Award Honorees.
Cokie Roberts and Darius Rucker joined the celebration for Make A Difference Day Award Honorees. / Toby Jorrin for USA WEEKEND
Behind the scenes video: MDDay photo shoot: An exclusive video behind the scenes of our Make A Difference Day Awards issue cover shoot, featuring country star Darius Rucker and winner Linda Wieck.

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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.

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Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of helping others, is sponsored annually by USA WEEKEND Magazine and its 800 carrier newspapers. Make A Difference Day takes place on the 4th Saturday in October each year.