An Olympic gold medalist, the actor best known as “the Fonz,” and a nine-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician are among the creative forces behind the 20 feature films, TV/Cable programs, and books for adults and young people being honored at the 66th annual Christopher Awards, to be presented in New York City on May 13th, 2015.
Created in 1949, The Christopher Awards are presented to writers, producers, directors, authors and illustrators whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” Tony Rossi, Director of Communications, says, “The Christopher Awards are unique in that they celebrate both sacred and secular works across a variety of media. The stories we’re honoring—whether true or fictional—highlight people who rise above their own wants and needs to act selflessly, regardless of the sacrifice involved. These individuals are motivated by a higher purpose or a higher power—and sometimes both. As a result, they’re leaving their world better than they found it.”
One of this year’s winners, Martha Williamson – best known as the creative force behind the popular CBS series “Touched By an Angel” – had this to say about winning a Christopher Award for her latest project: “We are deeply honored to receive the Christopher Award for ‘Signed, Sealed, Delivered for Christmas,’” said series Creator and Executive Producer Martha Williamson. “When Hallmark asked me to expand our franchise into a series of movies starting with a Christmas story, my goal was to prepare hearts to once again receive the true healing miracle of Christmas. This acknowledgement is encouraging to all of us who worked on the movie.”
Special Award Winner: Patrick Donohue received the James Keller Award ,Donohue created the International Academy of Hope (iHope), the first and only school for kids with brain injuries and brain-based disorders in New York City as well as the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan), which developed a standardized, evidence-based system of care that’s universally accessible for millions of American families. The James Keller Award, named after The Christophers’ founder, recognizes individuals who put their faith into action and change the world for the better.
The Christophers, a nonprofit organization founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service to God and humanity. The ancient Chinese proverb—“It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness”— guides its publishing, radio, leadership and awards programs.
About Tony Rossi
After graduating from St. John’s University in New York with degrees in Communications and English, Tony Rossi found a job at the Catholic media organization, The Christophers, that allowed him to indulge his interest in religion, media, and pop culture. He served as The Christophers’ TV producer for 11 years, and is currently the host and producer of the organization’s radio show/podcast Christopher Closeup, writer and editor of their syndicated Light One Candle column, and producer/scriptwriter of the annual Christopher Awards ceremony.