LOS ANGELES, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Efren Penaflorida, who offered disadvantaged children in the Philippines a chance at education, said he is honored to be the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.
Penaflorida was announced as the winner of the annual award at a ceremony Saturday at Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre following an online vote that earned more than 2.75 million ballots, CNN reported Sunday.
Penaflorida, who won the CNN.com vote, will receive $100,000 to aid his so-called pushcart classroom as part of her work with the Dynamic Teen Company.
"Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry," Penaflorida said of the honor. "Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need."
CNN said Saturday's ceremony in which the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009 were honored will be broadcast on Thanksgiving. All 10 honorees will receive $25,000.