Welcome to the Second Annual Children's Champion Awards

We feature the honorees' and presenters' inspiring, eloquent speeches -- in their own words.

Introduction

MIRIAM AROND: I want to thank all of you for being here tonight to celebrate some incredibly inspiring individuals who epitomize the difference that one person can make. And after all, isn't that the lesson we all hope to teach our kids -- that they can make a difference?

So without further ado, let me introduce our first presenter. You know him from some of television's most beloved and long-running series -- Taxi and Who's the Boss? In addition to his TV appearances on shows such as The Practice, Family Law, and Hudson Street, Tony Danza has established himself as a stage and screen star. His movie credits include Angels in the Outfield and A Brooklyn State of Mind.

For his theatrical debut in Wrong Turn at Lungfish, Tony earned an Outer Critics Circle award nomination. He also received critical acclaim for his role in the Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh. But that's not all. Tony has spent much of the last eight years touring with a song and dance show. Yes, the kid from Brooklyn who was discovered at a boxing gymnasium in New York and ultimately cast in Taxi can sing and dance.

Last year he released his debut album, The House I Live In. Tony's most recent venture is The Tony Danza Show, a new talk show broadcast live from New York, which has been an instant and huge success.

Tony's illustrious career may be familiar to you, but what you may not know is that Tony Danza is crazy about kids. He is, in his own words, "a big kid guy." Not only is his family -- he has three children -- the most important thing in his life, but the causes and charities that are closest to his heart are the ones that involve children. Tony believes that we need to make sure our kids know they mean the world to us. He is a man who, despite his great success, knows what is important.

How fitting that he is here to present our award to Judy Blume, who has spent her life helping millions of children figure out what is important in their lives. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you Tony Danza.

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