Logan Liptak is a very effusive young man — at least that’s what his mom says.
It’s possible that the many taxidermic deer heads hanging on the walls of the principal’s office at West Branch Area Elementary have a calming effect on the average fifth-grader or that when confronted by a stranger with a pen and a notebook full of questions, the kid is simply content to let the grownups do most of the talking.
He was good, too, refusing to be baited by seemingly innocuous conversation starters about his participation in his school’s football, baseball and basketball teams.
“I’m not trying to brag,” Logan said.
Logan made the news cycle a couple weeks ago, when the cumulative total of his donations to the American Heart Association over the past 5 years blew past the $10,000 marker. The American Heart Association recognized him as one of its “Heart Heroes” in September.
That's his outlet. That's when he can be with his buddies and just be a kid.
People want to hear from him. As a result, he has perhaps accrued more public speaking experience than anyone six years shy of a learning permit deserves to have on their resume.
Logan’s remarks are typically reserved for events hosted by the Heart of a Warrior Fund, the charity he started with help from his mother.
Alisa Hubler takes zero credit for her son’s largesse.
“I don’t even have anything to do with it. That’s his thing,” Hubler said.
She’s good at delivering the exposition, though.
Hubler spoke in detail about how scary it was when Logan was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve at the age of 6, about how seeing the other children in treatment did little to allay those fears and about the moment she realized that her 10-year-old had accumulated a well-defined sense of his own mortality.
I've raised more money than some football players do.
Logan had approached an adult who had also suffered from the same condition. His only question was direct and to the point — how old was the man before the defective valve threatened to burst?
“He really thinks about ‘how long do I have?’ ” Hubler said.
The bicuspid valve in Logan’s heart will eventually have to be replaced, but the timing of that procedure is different for each patient. For now he’s just a normal kid trying to grow up in the company of a few obtrusive inconveniences.
Logan was an award-winning wrestler, but he eventually swapped that for a sport that ranked lower on the danger scale. His talents are presently divided between football, basketball and baseball.
“That’s his outlet. That’s when he can be with his buddies and just be a kid,” Hubler said.
Kid or not, Logan has managed to raise a whole lot of money in a very short period of time. Originally he had hoped to reach the $10,000 threshold by the time he turned 17 years old.
He’s nearly a decade ahead of the curve and maybe, just maybe, that’s worth one small brag.
“I’ve raised more money than some football players do,” Logan said.