The Gaye Watkins Report

c) 2010 Sesame Workshop.  All Rights Reserved.

Muppets on Active Duty

Muppet Elmo and ABC News Robin Roberts, hosted Sesame Workshop’s 8th Annual Benefit Gala held at Cipriani 42 street in New York. The nights gala honored Military families and programs which Sesame Workshop has created for such families. Elmo was excited to also introduce Ms. Roberts co host from ABC News Good Morning America George Snuffleupagus.  Roberts reluctantly corrected Elmo that her ABC co host was actually Mr. George Stephanopoulus and not the large trunked muppet Snuffleupagus. With confusion averted, Snuffy who was dressed in a large tie and white collar, decided  to go in search of hors d’oeuvres off stage.  Robin Roberts and Elmo revealed that their fathers have served in the armed services. “He had alot of courage”, said Roberts of her father who was one of The Tuskegee Airmen. With Sesame Workshop’s Talk, Listen, Connect initiative and distributing nearly 2 million outreach kits, they have helped many children of military families. The special honoree of the night, Vice President Joe Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden, said that there were “few contributions people have made in this country as has Sesame Street. Jokingly, he said that  in fact he and his wife only wanted to have their child until Sesame Street was on the air. He went on to say, ”When these wars are finished we understand that we have one truly sacred responsibility, to take care of those who come home.” Biden spoke of visiting soldiers in hospitals and how they are “..some of the bravest people I have ever met.” He became a bit tearful over his recount of a soldier whom he visited at his hospital bed. He had lost both legs and used a long bar above his bed to lift himself up. The young soldier grabbed the bar and  said “I’m sorry I cannot salute. I thought I’d be able to do it by now.” He urged that the american public reach out to soldiers who have come home. He went on to mention finding his wife, Jill Biden mouthing a prayer as she made coffee from their kitchen everyday son Bo Biden, served in the military. Said Jill Biden of Sesame Street,”..always admired Sesame Streets efforts to prepare children to read…Thank you for giving children curiosity, security and happiness.”

Grammy award wining artist, John Legend performed some of his well known songs and ended with Elmo and other Muppets singing “Lean on Me”.  “Give it up for the brothers!”, shouted Legend of the crooning muppets. As Gary Knell, CEO of Sesame Workshop said of Sesame Workshop’s concern for military families, its about ”..hardship,courage and hope.”

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