MVYLI Youth on Stage WC Awards Invitation  









3rd Annual Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony

August 2, 2012 * Old Whaling Church, Edgartown


The Martha's Vineyard community honored the life of Walter Cronkite and celebrated those who are carrying on his legacy. The annual Awards are presented to people who are using the power of the media to build a more educated and sustainable world.  

Walter Cronkite's daughter Kathy Cronkite presented the Awards along with citations from U.S. Senator John Kerry, Governor Deval Patrick and State Senator Dan Wolf.  She also presented an autographed copy of Mr. Cronkite's autobiography, A Reporter's Life.

Kathy and Suesan Walter Cronkite Award Winners: 2010-2012
2012: Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Shavanae Anderson
2011: Len Morris and Meagan McDonough
2010: Josue Cruz and Christopher Pitt

Nick Clooney on stage The event's distinguished speaker was Nick Clooney, the former CBS anchor, TV journalist and television host who shared stories about Mr. Cronkite.  In 2009 Clooney joined with President Obama and President Clinton, Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Buffet and others to pay tribute at the CBS Memorial Service at Lincoln Center in New York City.  Excerpts from the CBS Memorial Service were featured at the event.  

"Walter Cronkite's journalism was infused with the kind of moral authority and passion that lit our path...and which, I have tried to embrace during my almost 50 years as a journalist," said veteran journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault upon winning this year's Award. "This Award in Walter Cronkite's name will spur me to keep on keeping on -- trying to the best of my ability to be a witness on behalf of a public that needs all of us to be the best we can be in what I still consider to be one of the noblest professions of all."

Vineyard youth Shavanae Anderson received the Walter Cronkite Youth Award. Shav filmed and co-produced the video Passing the Torch in honor of Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary with Harry Belafonte, Rose Styron, Dr. Henry Gates Jr. and others.  The video was shown at the event.

Shav speaking
Shav, Kathy and Doris
Passing the Torch

"I want more leaders like the best journalist and most trusted man of America, Walter Cronkite, to keep inspiring us to make another world possible," Shavanae said in her remarks. "I want to hear news saying that the humanity has explored new spaces in the universe, that conflicts around the world have decreased, that our schools systems are well funded and efficient, that our nation is totally fossil fuel independent, that all developed countries have created a coalition to address issues like hunger, child abuse and stop the global warming. Yes, this is the world that I want.  This is the world that we can all have.  This is the world that my generation is working to build. This is the world that each one of us is required to take it from a mere dream into a concrete reality.  That's the way it could be, that's the way it will be.  That's the way it is...."

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's Board President Marsha Reeves-Jews spoke at the event, "We are here tonight to honor a great man and his life - a man who meant so much to so many on Martha's Vineyard that meant so much to him. We are here to honor his dream for the future.  Mr. Cronkite's wisdom and vision of preparing our youth as future leaders in their communities gave rise to this special event.  His inspirational work and unwavering support will remain in the hearts of many around the world.  We celebrate his place in our lives, his words of encouragement, and the remarkable man who shared a common goal for a better tomorrow."

Josue receives WC scholarships Ms. Reeves-Jews presented the first Walter Cronkite Award Scholarships to all past and present youth Awardees: Josue Cruz, Meagan McDonough, Chris Pitt and Shavanae Anderson.  We encourage and support young people to pursue careers in the media and public service to continue Walter Cronkite's legacy of using the power of the media for positive social change.

Kathy Cronkite with WC winners

"I continue to be buoyed by the work of Stone Soup Leadership Institute and the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative, and especially by the young people who offer such hope in a sometimes discouraging world,"
said Kathy Cronkite. "This program, which inspires youth to dream of a better world, leads the way for us all. But this program in particular offers youth not just dreams, but also the skills to achieve them. I believe Dad would be proud not only of this award in his honor, but of the people receiving it. He was passionate about educating young people to be global citizens. He was one of the first to speak out for the need to protect our fragile Earth, and to bring environmentalism to national media. He loved this island especially and knew that the problems here were a microcosm of problems facing the world community."

Vineyard seasonal resident Jeffrey Kramer, Executive Producer at CBS Network Television Jeffrey Kramer and Doris Clark and CBS Studios shared Vineyard stories about Walter Cronkite and introduced Kathy Cronkite. Doris Clark was the Mistress of Ceremonies. A Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative's Advisory Council member, she serves as MVYLI's Job Shadow Day Director and MVYLI's College Prep & Field Trip coordinator.

The annual event is organized by the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative, a project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute a 501c3 non-profit education organization founded on Martha's Vineyard in 1997. Walter Cronkite was the honorary chairperson of The Stone Soup Leadership Institute for over a decade. During the annual MVYLI Youth Leadership Summit, young people had the unique opportunity to meet three teen girls via Skype videoconference with the South Sudan Girls Empowerment Club.  In 2006, Clooney and his son George travelled to Darfur, Sudan, and filmed the documentary, A Journey to Darfur, broadcast on American cable TV.   They created a Thank You poster and presented it to Mr. Clooney at the event.

Nick Clooney and MVYLI Youth on stage

Kim and Drew Conway with MVYLI Youth
Following the event, a reception was hosted by Kim and Drew Conway
in support of the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative
a project of the Stone Soup Leadership Institute.

Reception table John Klein and Drew Conway Reception

Kim and Maggie James and Mary Isabel

Lucy Lily Charlie Pikor

Thank you so much for inviting us to your home after the Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony. It was such a wonderful and inspiring experience. I'm so thankful to have been connected to the people that you introduced to me. Hopefully they will help me even more with my future and my dreams. Thank you for believing in us and pushing us to stay strong with our goals in life. I really appreciate all you've done for me and for MVYLI. Thank you again! Isabelle Wadleigh

Nick with group 

Many Thanks To Our Sponsors

Reception Hosts: Kim & Drew Conway
Pre-Event Dinner: Chesca's
Lodging: Harbor View Hotel, Point Way Inn, The Capricorn House, Vineyard Harbor Motel
Budget Martha's Vineyard, Da Rosa's Printing, Jardin Mahoney's, Bunch of Grapes
Vineyard Transportation * Allison Shaw for the Walter Cronkite photo

Many thanks to all who made a donation to the Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative.
We sincerely appreciate your support for our year-round program with Vineyard youth.

Ed and Kathy Ludwig            David Murphy                         Stanton Family Foundation
Mary Sullivan                         Susan Plaine                           Julie & Louis Kavoussi    
               Monica & Henry Reusch        Alyssa & Paul Stafford            Marsha Mills Ahearn    
               Gerret C. Conover                 John Griffith                             Mary Hasten        
               Deborah A. Nugent                John Scales                             Sarah Rorer



Our Team

 Photographer: Eli Dagastino

MVYLI Project Director: Rebecca Rabeni

Event Assistant: Siohban Smith and Gerri Laurino

Videographer: Meagan McDonough * Editor: Shavanae Anderson

Executive Director: Marianne Larned


Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative



Watch Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony on TV

To see more photos, watch TV show, read and listen to speeches:

Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony Website *

Stone Soup 4 the World

Stone Soup Leadership Institute