A moving tribute to four-year-old hero



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Posted on August 11, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 12 at 4:50 PM

FORT WORTH — Four-year-old Xander Vento jumped into a Fort Worth pool earlier this week to try and save a younger child.

His heroic act was a success, but Xander did not survive.

On Saturday evening, more than 100 friends and neighbors gathered to celebrate the selflessness of an innocent child.

They were dressed in green and held green balloons — green was Xander's favorite color.

"He was my best friend," said Xander's dad, Cris Vento.

Xander was rescued from a pool in the Village of Woodland Springs subdivision in far north Fort Worth. Saturday evening, friends and neighbors returned to the pool to honor Xander and support his family.

"I feel honored to call Xander my son," Vento said in front of an emotional crowd. "I have chosen to look at it as an honor that he was selected to go to heaven early to serve with our Father."

Mark Vento said his nephew was born an as an angel and will leave an important legacy.

"He showed the world what a true hero was, what sacrifice really means," he said.

The three-year-old who Xander saved is okay.

His family donated Xander's organs, another charitable act that saved an additional six lives.

E-mail mmoore@wfaa.com