MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ - Mary Robinson, Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss founder and executive director, has been selected as a 'Top Ten CNN Hero' by CNN Executives and, as such, is one of 10 individuals in the running for 'CNN Hero of the Year'.

The 'CNN Hero of the Year' receives a donation of $100,000 to the honoree's cause, and will be decided through a public vote. Individuals are able to cast their vote by visiting The 'CNN Hero of the Year' will be announced during 'CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute', which will air live on Sunday, December 8, beginning at 8 p.m.

“This award means we are able to shine an even bigger spotlight on our mission of supporting children, teens, young adults, and their families, who are coping with loss due to death or illness,” said Robinson. “In New Jersey alone ,there are currently over 114,000 bereaved youth who have had a parent die. Nationally the number is over 4.9 million. At Imagine, over 430 children and adults from 59 towns across New Jersey attend our support groups every two weeks in Mountainside and Newark. However, serving 430 people at our centers is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of youth needing support. Therefore, our mission also includes a focus on education, to make sure wherever a grieving child or teen turns in their life, there is an adult who pays attention and understands the need to provide support and to listen. Our goal is to create grief-informed communities, school districts, agencies, workplaces, and neighborhoods in New Jersey and nationally."

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Imagine offers free year-round grief support groups for children age 3-18 who have had a parent or brother or sister die, and for families caring for a family member living with a life-altering physical illness. Concurrent groups are available for parents and guardians, and young adults 18-30. Support groups meet on weekday nights for an hour and a half. Dinner is provided prior to the group meeting.

“We are thrilled but not surprised Mary has been selected,” said Imagine Board Chair John Toriello. “Having served on the board since Imagine’s inception in 2011, I know Mary is an outstanding and dedicated leader who makes and has made an enormous contribution in helping grieving children and families. We are very proud of her.”

For more information, please call Imagine at 908-264-3100 or contact