Alex Heard Wins “Spirit of Giving” Award

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Pepsi Little People’s Honors Heard

Alex Heard of Boca Raton, FL, has been named the 2016 Pepsi Little People’s “Spirit of Giving” Award winner. At 11, Alex becomes the youngest recipient of the Award.

Since his earliest years, Alex has shown compassion towards others. His birthday is two weeks before Christmas, and just before his 7th birthday, Alex announced that he wanted to donate his birthday presents to less fortunate children.

Before that, Alex’s family, Rick and Diane Heard, had established a tradition of donating his lightly used toys and child goods to local charities. Alex looked forward to these visits every year. Since his 7th birthday, Alex hasn’t received any birthday gifts from classmates or friends, opting instead to donate them to local charities.

Alex attends Unity School of Delray Beach, which has a “Lessons in Living” program, teaching preschoolers through 8th graders the virtues and values of giving. The program includes an “Angel Tree” gifting program, soup kitchen visits, and other outreach activities supporting local charities and organizations.

Alex personally supports the Florence Fuller Early Childhood Development center in Boca Raton and the local Toys for Tots program.

Two years ago on his 9th birthday, Alex and his parents were in Miami for the Doral Junior tournament. They stopped at a local restaurant where they were raffling off a nice boy’s bike. Alex was enamored with it, as he was outgrowing his own bike. As luck would have it, Alex won the bike – and immediately decided to donate the bike to a boy who didn’t have a bike. Evidently that was good karma, as he shot a five-under-par 30 in the first round, and followed it with a 33, winning the tournament. When they returned home, he took the bike to the Florence Fuller Center where the staff was overjoyed and appreciative of his generosity.

Alex has also supported the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through annual fund-raising walks, and has raised hundreds of dollars, earning him the “Golden Award” for 2014.

Alex also volunteered with a free golf clinic for kids battling cancer in support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He and his Dad, a PGA golf professional, hosted a group of families and set up fun golf games and instructional stations for the kids, their siblings and parents. Alex took turns at each station, showing the kids the correct way to hold a club, swing and hit a ball.

Alex will be competing in the 10-11 division of the 2016 Pepsi Little People’s in Quincy, IL, and will receive his Award during the Family Celebration Picnic on June 22.

ABOUT PEPSI LITTLE PEOPLE’S
The Pepsi Little People’s Golf Championships is an international junior golf competition for boys and girls aged 3 through 18. The 43rd annual tournament will be held June 20-22 at two golf courses in Quincy, Illinois, USA. Competition is held in seven age divisions for boys and seven age divisions for girls. More information and entry forms are available at littlepeoplesgolf.com, or by contacting Nan Ryan, Tournament Director, at jrgolfer@littlepeoplesgolf.com or 217-257-5718.

ABOUT THE ‘SPIRIT OF GIVING’ AWARD
The Little People’s ‘Spirit of Giving’ Award was established six years ago in memory of John Howerton, a Little People’s Board member and Chair of the Transportation Committee, who passed away unexpectedly in March 2011. John was a great ambassador for Little People’s and established many friendships with players and their families. Previous Award winners include Claire Hodges, Maggie Ambrose, Zach Hoskins, Tripp Kinney and Hannah Berman.

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