Sloan family, about 100 volunteers help beautify school in honor of 'Mr. Awesome'

Calder Sloan would have turned 11 this week

KENDALL, Fla. – It's been four years since a South Florida boy was electrocuted by the light in his family pool, and there was a big event happening in his honor Tuesday to give back to others. 

This week marks what would have been Calder Sloan's 11th birthday, and it's also been four years since he died in the pool accident. Every year, his family gives back in his honor.

"My brother stood for three things: adventure, laughter and kindness," Calder's younger brother, Caleb Sloan, said.  

Caleb was only 4 years old when Calder died, but he still fondly remembers him.

"Even though he passed away, he's still my brother and, to me, he's one of the most special persons to me and the entire universe -- the empire," Caleb said.  

Calder died a week after his seventh birthday, but in those short years he left a lasting impression in the lives he touched.

"Calder was a unique kid we call Mr. Awesome," Calder's father, Chris Sloan, said. "The lesson that I think he taught all of us while he was alive -- he really was about kindness."  

"My brother (was) always nice to other people, and it's my turn to return the favor," Caleb said.  

That's why Caleb, his parents and about 100 volunteers were hard at work Tuesday beautifying a school for special-needs children called Arc Project Thrive, along Southwest 84th Street in Kendall, by installing a sensory garden, improving the playgrounds and painting a mural.

"We are here to bring a little joy to this school," Sloan said.  

What made the day even more special for the Sloan family is that Calder's classmates paid a visit to the school and shared special memories of their little buddy.

"I was getting bullied, I remember one time, and he stood up for me and it really meant a lot," Gavin Lieber said.  

Click here to learn more about Caleb and Calder's Awesome Foundation, which was founded after Calder's death.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.