WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Fourteen of America's top volunteers were awarded Thursday during a luncheon in our nation's capital.
Tegna Inc., partnered with Gannett Company, to honor those who went above and beyond on Make A Difference Day last October.
"We were and are deeply dedicated to this annual national day of service," said Tegna President and CEO Gracia Martore, "and the impact it has in the local communities we serve across this country."
NBC anchor Lester Holt was the master of ceremonies.
The day marks the country's largest day of community service, bringing together millions of people to volunteer and make a difference in their local communities.
Each award winner received $10,000 to continue their service projects.
The projects included a community assistance day in Muncie, IN, finding homes for homeless animals in Pittsburgh, PA, a luggage drive for foster children in Chicago, IL and more.
Emmy-award winning host and producer Andy Cohen was recognized for serving as an advocate for amfAR, The American Foundation for AIDS Research.
"The fact these people rose to the top and did the most extraordinary things, is really cool and inspiring," said Cohen. "It's days like these... today's like a warm, fuzzy day."
The ten 2015 national Make A Difference Day Award honorees include:
- Return of the Natives, Salinas, CA
- Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Muncie, IN
- Scrap Hunger, Lincroft, NJ
- Animal Friends, Pittsburgh and Wexford, PA
- The Pediatric Connection, Richmond, VA
- Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA
- GFWC Beverly Hills Junior Women’s Club, Chicago, IL
- Volunteer Center of Story County, Ames, IA
- Stanwood High School, Stanwood, WA
- Taking Root, Cincinnati, OH
The three 2015 Community Award honorees are:
- Richmond, CA
- Moonachie, NJ
- Aberdeen, SD
The All-Star Award is:
- Operation Access, Sonoma County, CA