Ten Kids With Heart honored

Kids with a Heart Winners

Although the weather outside was cold and drizzly, there was nothing but warmth and sunshine at the Village at Stone Oak shopping plaza Saturday morning when dozens of families and friends gathered to honor 10 remarkable boys and girls. Winners of the Kids With Heart! contest, the students from throughout the San Antonio area were rewarded for the care, compassion and concern they have shown their community within the past year.
Among the winners was Canyon Ridge Elementary student Jackson Hager who was nominated by his mother for the kindness he shows others. Although a popular kid, the 7-year-old regularly reaches out to his classmates who are shy or have trouble fitting in. He also helped a boy who fell on the playground when no one else would, a task that earned him the Tim Duncan Spirit Award last year.   
The grand prize winner, 9-year-old Gisselle Barreras, was honored for her many charitable contributions including the donation of her long hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that provides wigs to those suffering from hair loss due to medical treatments. Barreras also won $100 in another contest and donated all the money to charity despite her mother’s assurance that she could go on a shopping spree at a favorite clothing store.   
Started in February of 2007, the Kids With Heart! contest is hosted by Developers Diversified Realty, a leading developer, owner and manager of roughly 500 retail centers across the country. Each participating center picks 10 winners from a pool of local nominees.      
“As a company, we want to do our part to give back and Kids with Heart is one of the ways we do so,” says John Kokinchak, senior vice president of property management at Developers Diversified. “We wanted to help raise the awareness of the good Samaritan actions of today's youth, thus stressing the importance of goodwill.”
All 10 winners on Saturday received a $100 shopping spree at the Village of Stone Oak, located near Stone Oak Parkway and Hwy 281. Developers Diversified also donates $500 to the grand prize winner’s charity of choice. The Make-A-Wish Foundation was the charity selected by Barreras. 
The Village of Stone Oak received a total of 25 Kids With Heart! nominations. This was the first time the local retail outlet participated in the contest, but Village at Stone Oak General Manager Ray Barger hopes to make this an annual event and expects many more nominations next year. 
Congratulations to all the Kids With Heart! Winners: Gisselle Barreras, Michelle Childers, Sarah Stevens, Alexis Mrachek, Deanna Carr, Kendra Hanna, Travis Halff, Anthony Kayruz, Samantha Cardenas and Jackson Hager.