Growing up, Tenth Ager Oliver C. didn’t realize right away that his older sister, Sutton, had special needs. He only understood that she was special to him. Sutton was born prematurely and got meningitis at six weeks old, sustaining a brain injury because of it. She is 12 years old and attends the Baltimore Lab School. In honor of Sutton, Oliver began participating in the Polar Bear Plunge when he was five years old with his grandfather. Since then, his team has expanded to include other friends and family members.
This year, Oliver asked to take ownership of the fundraising process, personally writing an appeal letter to send to friends and family. He also utilized the power of social media, assisted by his mother, Ali Clark, to reach out to a greater network of people for support.
In his letter, Oliver stated “On May 11, 2003, my sister Sutton Stirling Clark was born. She was supposed to be born July 14. She was born 9 weeks too soon. Because of that, her immune system was not strong. Six weeks after she was born, she contracted meningitis and now has a brain injury that makes her the super special sister that she is! She makes me be tough and strong every single day. Please help support me in raising money for the Special Olympics, an organization that is close to my heart and to my sister’s.”
Because of his leadership and drive, Oliver raised $21,180 for the Special Olympics. His parents and the Calvert community are very proud of his success and the determination he demonstrated during the challenge. Well done, Oliver!