WHITE CITY, Ore. -- Six-year-old Bauer White has been through more in his short life than most adults. Born with a serious heart condition, Bauer underwent heart surgery when he was just three months old.
"Bauer is an amazingly independent, strong-minded, strong-willed little boy," his dad, Brandon said, "He’s stronger than most people that you’ll ever meet.”
He's had to be strong. On top of his heart condition, he has dealt with stomach issues as well as hearing and vision impairment.
"He works really hard at sign language, so he has a great way to communicate with his mom and his dad," Brandon said.
Bauer will enter elementary school next year and with that comes more challenges. With the help of Sparrow Clubs through Crater High School, the Whites received between $5,000 and $6,000 through the last school year. With the help of Fire District 3, the Whites got even more help.
The Sparrow Games were hosted on Fire District 3's training grounds and featured a three-part crossfit competition in which 19 teams of four competed for glory, but ultimately, to help Bauer. The event raised more than $4,500 for the White family.
“I’ve been doing this for 12 years and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this," Sparrow Clubs USA National Programs Director Matt Sampson said, "I think they have a great model. I heard them say this is the first annual, so I’d love to see this repeated.”
The three parts of the crosstraining race included kettlebell exercises, running, the row machine, a hose drag, and water bucket race. The winning team, "FireCamp", consisted of Kris Miller, Brandon Jones, Lu Crenshaw, and Shantell Dayton. Most importantly, Bauer enjoyed himself at the event.
“He was just all up in arms and excited about everything, especially the big American flag and the fire trucks," Brandon said.
The Whites also got to read letters from Crater high school students who did community service through Sparrow Clubs to raise money for Bauer's treatments. A few read as follows:
"Helping Bauer turns community service hours into something that I look forward to rather than a chore," junior Kayla McDowell wrote, "He always has a smile on his face and reminds me to be positive as well no matter what I am faced with. I feel more connected with my fellow students when we are united toward the common goal of serving Bauer. I honestly think he helps us more than we help him."
"Bauer, you are so strong and I'm happy that I'm able to help you get the care you need just by helping others and doing community service," Freshman Hannah Noyes wrote, "Everyone deserves a chance."
Through events like Saturday's 1st annual Sparrow Games, the community is making sure Bauer continues to get a chance, no matter what life throws in his way.