Leon Harris Accepts 2014 Community Champion Award

Leon Harris, award-winning journalist and lead anchor for the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts for ABC7/WJLA-TV, has accepted the 2014 Johnny Holliday Community Champion Award, to be presented at the Johnny Holliday Scholarship Classic on Monday, June 16, 2014 at Bretton Woods Golf Course in Germantown, MD.

“In this day and age, there are few people in the media spotlight who really ‘get it’ when it comes to giving back to society. Leon Harris not only gets it, but he goes over and beyond that line of caring for others who might be less fortunate,” said Johnny Holliday, whose event supports the Youth Leadership Foundation as well as a scholarship to the University of Maryland.

“Leon is the consummate professional in his field of television. You can see that for yourself every night on Channel 7. His commitment to the young people of the Washington, DC area is just one example of Leon’s generosity, not only for YLF, but countless other charities as well. I am proud to call Leon a friend and in a small way recognize his many accomplishments in the public service sector.”

Leon’s involvement in YLF includes serving as master of ceremonies for the Annual Spirit of Service Awards Dinner, showcasing YLF programs on his weekly feature Harris’ Heroes, and even hosting YLF students and their parents to visit the ABC-7/WJLA studios.

“We are very grateful for all that Leon has done for the kids at YLF over the years, for his involvement in this event, and for his acceptance of this award,” said seven-year event chair, Mike Manders.

Mr. Harris came to Washington after 20 years at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters, where he co-anchored CNN Live Today and Prime News, and hosted CNN Presents and American Stories.

He has covered a wide variety of stories including the September 11 terror strikes, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Asian tsunami of 2004, the explosion and crash of TWA Flight 800 and the Los Angeles riots. He has interviewed presidential candidates and reported live from both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.

Mr. Harris’ work has earned him a number of honors, among them multiple CableAce awards for Best Newscaster, and National Emmy Awards for coverage of the September 11 terror attack, the Oklahoma City bombing and the 2000 presidential election.

He was honored, too, with a National Headliner Award and more recently with a National Capital Area Emmy Award for Best Anchor.

Mr. Harris is passionate about improving the lives of children. His weekly segment, Harris’ Heroes, profiles adults helping kids or kids helping their peers in the D.C. metro region. The series runs every Wednesday evening during ABC7 News at Five. The news segments can also be found on wjla.com.

Mr. Harris also works with many charitable groups including the Youth Leadership Foundation, For the Love of Children, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Unique Learning Center, March of Dimes and many others.

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