Bright and early this morning Juliette West became the first recipient of the newly created Ricky Williams Animal Hero Kids Award. Animal Hero Kids (fka Humane Educators Reaching Out) teamed up with former NFL player and Heisman trophy winner, Ricky Williams (Miami Dolphins) to recognize courage and compassion in action in kids through the Animal Hero Kids Awards.
The award was given during the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival, which featured several screenings of the movie How I Became An Elephant. The 10:00 AM (Eastern) program included the award presentation, a screening of the movie How I Became An Elephant, and Q&A with Juliette. The audience was filled with 120+ students from nearby St. Anthony’s in Ft. Lauderdale.
Juliette was not able to travel to accept the award in person, due to school obligations, however, she did make a personal appearance in the theater via Skype. Given the time zone difference, she got up early and was giving her award acceptance speech by 7:15 AM over Skype to an auditorium full of students!
You can watch the award presentation video here: Juliette West Animal Hero Award
Susan Hargreaves, founder and executive director of Animal Kid Heros, said, “Ricky Williams and Animal Hero Kids are proud to recognize Juliette West, an animal advocate who has translated her compassion for the suffering of other animals into positive action. Juliette’s determination and dedication on behalf of captive elephants is worthy of the Ricky Williams Animal Hero Kids Award which is hereby presented on the 22nd day of October in the year 2012 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.”
Animal Hero Kids awarded the 2012 Animal Hero Film Award to the documentary movie, How I Became an Elephant. (http://howibecameanelephant.com), which was accepted by director Tim Gorski. Susan Hargreaves noted, “The film poignantly educates about the cruelty inherent in the capturing, transporting, training and chaining of elephants used and abused in the entertainment industry. The filmmakers, producers, directors and videographers have worked selflessly and in some instances, in dangerous circumstances, to document the sad reality for elephants, while simultaneously threading the story with hope.”
Thank you Animal Kid Heros and Ricky Williams for acknowledging the power of kids to be super heros for animals. You can read about the stories of other kid heros on the Humane Educators Reaching Out website.