Honorary Guest 2017 – Amy Robach

September 5th, 2017 | Category: Honorary Guests

Amy Robach was named News Anchor for ABC’s Good Morning America in March 2014.

Since joining ABC News, Robach has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events. She reported from Brussels on the terrorist bombings in Belgium, Orlando, Florida on the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, Dallas, TX to cover the shooting ambush of police officers, and on the ground in Newton, Connecticut for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Robach contributed to network-wide coverage on Election Night 2016 from Trump headquarters and the Washington Mall in Washington, DC for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

She also traveled to Iceland to report on the front lines of climate change with the world’s most elite ice climbers, taking viewers into an ice sinkhole over a hundred feet deep live using the latest in drone technology. As part of GMA’s Hidden Worlds series, she reported from Tanzania on the poaching epidemic and its impact across the globe. In 2014, she traveled to Nigeria to interview Malala Yousafzai, the seventeen-year-old who was in the African country as part of a campaign to free hundreds of captive school girls. She also reported live from South Africa just days after the shooting of Oscar Pistorious’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Robach anchored ABC News’ coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and reported from London for the birth of Prince George.

Additionally, Robach has interviewed countless newsmakers and celebrities. Her headline making interviews include: Gretchen Carlson’s first television on sexual harassment in the workplace, Hulk Hogan who responded to making racial slurs and Monica Lewinsky, her first network interview in over a decade. She also sat down with Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice after time spent in a federal prison and recording pop star Taylor Swift after her worldwide exclusive live-stream on Yahoo and ABC News announcing Swift’s new album and single.

Robach has reported and anchored several 20/20 programs for ABC News. Most recently, she spoke exclusively with Leanna Taylor, the woman whose ex-husband was convicted of their toddler death in a hot car. She extensively covered the University of Virginia campus rape case landing the first interview with Dean Nicole Eramo following the retraction of the infamous Rolling Stone, article. In December 2013, Robach hosted the two-hour primetime special “Secrets of the Castle: Beyond Downton Abbey” where she traveled to the English and Scottish country sides to go behind the scenes of Downton Abbey and explore the present day British aristocracy.

In 2015, Robach wrote a New York Times bestseller titled Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held On To Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour about her unexpected journey with breast cancer after being diagnosed following an on-air mammogram on GMA.

Before joining ABC News, Robach worked at NBC News from 2003 to 2012. In 2007, Robach was the co-anchor of Saturday TODAY and an NBC News National Correspondent. During that time, she also filled in as Weekday TODAY co-anchor, Weekday Newsreader and anchor for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Prior to that, Robach was an anchor for MSNBC from 2003-2007.

During her 9 years at NBC, Robach interviewed major political newsmakers: Barack Obama in 2004, Senator John McCain, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker Newt Gingrich, as well as world leaders such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Robach also covered the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections, traveling to Iowa to interview the candidates. She also interviewed Elizabeth Edwards, following the scandal with her husband, John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. Robach traveled to Beijing to cover the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2009, she nabbed the first sit down interview with Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich as he faced impeachment and criminal charges. In 2010, Robach got a rare one-on-one interview with Britain’s Prince Harry in Barbados. She flew in an F-18 fighter jet, broke the sound barrier, landed on and then catapulted off the aircraft carrier, the USS George HW Bush. Robach also traveled the globe, reporting for “Where in the World Is Matt Lauer” with live broadcasts from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Seychelles.

From 1999-2003, Robach worked at WTTG in Washington, DC as a reporter and morning and noon anchor. She covered the aftermath of 9/11 and the war with Iraq, reporting live from the Pentagon. Robach also contributed to the Edward R. Murrow award winning broadcast covering the Serial Sniper attacks and was honored in Regardie’s magazine as one of the top “100 powerful Washingtonians.”

Robach got her start as a general assignment reporter from 1995-1999 at WCBD TV in Charleston, SC. There, she traveled to Honduras to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch and reported from Iceland to cover the transport of “Keiko,” aka Free Willy, to his native waters via a Charleston Air Force C-17 cargo plane. Robach also spent many summers reporting live from hurricanes Bertha, Fran and Bonnie as they battered the North Carolina coast. As a crime reporter, Robach also witnessed the lethal injection of a man who had been sitting on death row for over 20 years, convicted of a triple homicide.

Robach is originally from Lansing, Michigan. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and then moved down south to Atlanta, GA just before high school. Robach attended the University of Georgia where she graduated with honors and a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She currently resides in New York City with her husband, two daughters and is also the stepmom to three wonderful boys.

Honorary Guest 2016 – Joan Lunden

September 15th, 2016 | Category: Honorary Guests

Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, best-selling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest-running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up-to-date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

With her keen interest in family, health, and wellness, Joan Lunden has continued to be a reassuring and informative presence in American homes for more than 30 years. With that passion and journalistic trust, Lunden has created a brand dedicated to helping families live easier, happier, and healthier lives.

Lunden has served as national spokesperson for various organizations, such as The American Heart Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, The American Lung Association, The American Red Cross, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The Colon Cancer Alliance. She speaks regularly around the country about health and wellness, parenting, success and balance in life.

One of the most visible women in America, Lunden has graced the covers of more than 40 magazines and book covers. Her books include Growing Up Healthy: Protecting Your Child From Diseases Now Through Adulthood; Wake-Up Calls; A Bend In The Road Is Not The End Of The Road; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Living; Joan Lunden’s Healthy Cooking; Mother’s Minutes Your Newborn Baby; and Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden.

Honorary Guest 2015 – The Kelly Family

September 15th, 2016 | Category: Honorary Guests

The Kelly Family

The Kelly Family has faced cancer with strength and resilience, and by sharing their story, they have inspired countless patients and their families.

Jim, a Hall of Fame quarterback and former Buffalo Bill, was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. His wife, Jill, and his two daughters, Erin, 20, and Camryn, 16, rallied around him and stood by his side through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

“Every time my wife, my daughters and brothers walked into my hospital room, they walked in with a positive attitude, and that made me feel better that day,” Jim said.

Jim came up with his own personal motto that became his guiding principle throughout his illness: Make a difference today for someone who is fighting tomorrow.

The entire Kelly family has certainly done just that.

Throughout Jim’s cancer journey, Jill, Erin and Camryn shared the ups and downs of his treatment through social media, news interviews and speaking engagements. Their honesty helped spread awareness of the disease and inspired others who were facing similar battles.

The saying “Kelly Tough,” which became popular when Jim was playing in the National Football League, became a symbol of the family’s perseverance and a mantra for many other patients and their family members.

In honor of the inspirational slogan, Erin and Jill wrote a book, “Kelly Tough,” chronicling the family’s perseverance. The book shares what the saying has meant to the family through the many challenges they’ve faced — including the loss of Hunter, Jim and Jill’s son who suffered from a rare genetic disease and passed away at the young age of 8.

“Everyone has their own story, their own struggles,” Erin said. “My hope is that ‘Kelly Tough’ encourages someone else going through hard circumstances.”

Today, Jim is cancer free. The family is enjoying spending time together — time they are grateful to have. Camryn is getting ready for her junior year of high school, while Erin prepares for her junior year of college.

And the family is also continuing to be champions of the cancer cause — encouraging patients everywhere to be “Kelly Tough.”

Category: Honorary Guests