Global National Celebrates Canada's Favourite 'Everyday Hero' In Christmas
Day Special

         Kevin Newman to Announce Results of Nationwide Viewer Poll

       Special Broadcast to air Friday, December 25 - 6pm ET (6:30pm in
                         British Columbia) on Global

       For additional information, please visit

TORONTO, Dec. 17 /CNW/ - On Christmas Day, following Global National, Global Television will air a special half-hour program celebrating Canada's favourite hero.

Airing Friday, December 25th - 6pm ET (6:30pm in B.C.), Global National presents a special television event based on the hugely popular weekly feature 'Everyday Hero' that ran on the newscast throughout 2009. The segment has profiled 32 very special Canadians, each one having made significant and meaningful contributions to society. This year's winner has been chosen by the viewers who have been voting for their personal choice at The vote has been narrowed down from the original list of semi-finalists, with the top hero and four finalists to be announced during the Christmas Day special.

"'Everyday Hero' is our way of saying 'thanks' each week to the many people all over Canada who are making a difference," said Global National Anchor, Kevin Newman. "Each and every one of our featured heroes have made extraordinary contributions and our viewers had the difficult task of making their top choice from 32 amazing candidates. We truly believe that celebrating these 'everyday people' is a meaningful way to spend time this holiday season."

In the special, Newman will announce the five finalists, celebrate each with a special video tribute and introduce Global National's favourite 'Everyday Hero' of 2009. The winner will receive an all-expenses paid VIP trip to our nation's capital which will include lunch in the Parliamentary restaurant and an appearance on the broadcast to receive their honour in person from Mr. Kevin Newman.

The 10 'Everyday Hero' semi-finalists of 2009 include:

LAURA BEAUPARLANT Toronto - 13-years ago she was badly injured when her car was struck by a drunk driver. While waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive, a man she only knows as 'Martin' stopped, held her hand and encouraged her to hang on. Determined to walk again, Laura recovered from her injuries and now speaks at high schools urging students to believe in their dreams and warning them against drunk driving. She is still trying to find Martin to thank him.

MATT CAPOBIANCO Etobicoke - In the last four years he has participated in eight emergency missions as part of a global medical team that provides care to parts of the world hit by natural disasters. He has dedicated himself to the task of providing drinkable water to post-disaster areas where the water supply has been compromised. After a recent typhoon hit the Philippines, Matt and his team were onsite almost immediately and provided thousands of gallons of purified water to the devastated communities.

MARK DEMONTIS Toronto - Playing in the NHL was his goal, but his hockey dream was cut short when he lost his vision to a rare eye condition. Refusing to give up, Mark was the first legally blind person to skate across Canada. Determined to still play his beloved sport and to prove that he could overcome his condition, Mark founded a hockey team for the blind where he is now an avid participant.

SHELBY HAYTER Ottawa - Four-years ago this mother of three, school-teacher and veteran runner was in training for the Boston Marathon when she was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Determined to still run the marathon, her efforts raised $35,000 for research. Today she spearheads 'Pass the Baton for Parkinson's', an educational program aimed to help spotlight awareness about the disease. Shelby also visits schools as a dynamic example of how students can challenge adversity.

JUSTIN HINES Markham - A rare genetic disorder has consigned him to a wheelchair but that hasn't stopped Justin from becoming a successful recording artist and a champion for people with disabilities. Justin will be performing two Christmas songs for Global National's 'Everyday Hero' special.

DWIGHT HOUNSELL Ottawa - This feisty Newfoundlander who lives in a working-class, ethnically diverse neighbourhood was determined to make a neglected outdoor hockey rink useable for local teens. Throughout the winter, alone and often in the middle of the night, he'd spend hours preparing the rink. His reward? Watching as kids of all backgrounds come together and play hockey. Since Dwight started his project, police have noticed a decline in teen-based crime.

WILL THOMPSON Ottawa - A success in the business world, Will felt a need to do something more meaningful with his life and organized a rugby tournament on the Parliament Hill lawn to raise money for military families. Fuelled by a desire to continue his involvement, Will has volunteered to serve in Afghanistan and is currently training for that assignment.

BEN VERBOOM Ajax - Ben and his father spent many hours cycling on the shore of Lake Ontario and took more extensive bike trips as Ben grew older. One day when he was in grade nine, Ben came home from school to find that his father had committed suicide. No one in the family knew that he suffered from depression. To honour his father and deal with his grief, Ben went on 'Cycle to Help,' a 90-day bike ride across the country to raise money and awareness about mental health.

OLWYN WALTER Halifax - When she saw a photo of a young Vietnamese boy in an orphanage suffering from a huge, disfiguring facial tumour, Olwyn became determined to help him. Olwyn brought the boy to her home in Halifax and has been at his side though countless hospitalizations and surgeries and has provided him with a supportive, caring home environment. She is now preparing for the day when he is well enough to return to Vietnam.

DR. RAY WISS Sudbury - Dr. Wiss has been credited with saving many lives due to his discovery that ultrasound can be used to immediately diagnose post-traumatic injuries. Dr. Wiss has trained hundreds of medical technicians how to use ultrasound in emergency situations, something that has been very effectively put to use in the treatment of soldiers wounded in Afghanistan. Dr. Wiss has returned for a second time to Afghanistan to train medics in the ultrasound approach in treating injured soldiers. The proceeds from his book, 'FOB DOC', are going to the families of fallen soldiers.

Profiles of the 'Everyday Hero' finalists can also be viewed at

Global Television is a Canwest Broadcasting Network.

About Canwest Broadcasting

Canwest Broadcasting operates Global Television and eighteen of the country's most popular specialty channels, including HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History Television, Food Network and TVtropolis. Canwest Broadcasting is a division of Canwest Media Inc.

About Canwest Media Inc.

Canwest Media Inc. is a subsidiary of Canwest Global Communications Corp. (, Canada's largest media company. In addition to owning the Global Television Network, operating 18 industry-leading specialty channels and having ownership in 5 specialty channels, Canwest is Canada's largest publisher of English language paid daily newspapers and owns and operates more than 80 online properties.

SOURCE Shaw Media

For further information: For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: David McCaughna, Canwest Broadcasting, (647) 338-2485,

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