WHITE CITY -- He's only six years old; he will enter elementary school for the first time in the Fall, and Bauer White is out to prove the toughest people in life aren't always the biggest. In fact, he is also proving the most joyful people aren't always the loudest.
But in his quiet, happy demeanor, he's proving the most resilient people are often the most inspiring.
"He works hard every day. He's an inspiration to everyone whose life he touches," his father, Brandon, said, "He's stronger than most people you'll ever meet and he makes friends like nobody's business."
With the quiet toughness he exudes, you'd never guess Bauer had heart surgery when he was just three months old. He is medically complex, with heart & stomach conditions, along with hearing and vision impairment. He uses sign language to communicate with his parents.
The cost of caring for a medically complex child can be overwhelming, so Crater High School and Sparrow Clubs partnered to sponsor Bauer's family through community service and fundraising. Through the end of the 2017-18 school year, they had raised between $5,000 and $6,000, according to Matt Sampson, the National Programs Director for Sparrow Clubs USA.
Fire District 3 and local police officers decided to tap into their crossfit community and raise even more money for Bauer's family as he will need even more care upon starting elementary school. They organized the first annual 'Sparrow Games', a crossfit competition pitting 19 four-person teams against each other for a good cause.
“I’ve been doing this for 12 years and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this," Sampson said.
The event raised an additional $4,500 for the family. Bauer's parents, Brandon and Lauren, were also able to read heartwarming letters written to them by Crater students who have worked with Bauer all year long.
"It makes you tear up," Lauren said while reading one of those letters, "It just makes you really emotional."
The theme of most of the letters: Bauer gives even more to the students than they feel they are giving to him through fundraising and community service. It once again shows that resilience, by even the smallest among us, can create limitless inspiration.