Local Special Olympian overwhelmed by community’s response in sending birthday wishes

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With over 1,000 cards sent to him in the mail, Richard Stanton decided to decorate his walls with them

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A very special follow-up to one of our previous stories about sending a Special Olympian from Austintown cards for his 60th birthday. The community overwhelmed Richard Stanton with cards this year, something he will never forget.

Reporter Keely Lovern: “Did you feel happy?”
Stanton: “Oh yeah. Happy, happy. Yep!”

“He deserves it and this was more than I could’ve ever asked for, ever,” said Stanton’s mom, Toni Saccomen.

Saccomen shared on Facebook that Stanton loves getting mail, asking the community to send him birthday cards. The response was overwhelming.

Lovern: “What’s all over the walls?”
Stanton: “Cards.”
Lovern: “What are they for?”
Stanton: “Me.”
Lovern: “For your birthday?”
Stanton: “Yes.”
Lovern: “How old did you turn?”
Stanton: “Sixty.”

More than 1,000 people sent cards. Stanton was so happy, he used them to decorate his walls. There were so many that they even came in a mail bin, putting a huge smile on his face.

Stanton: “I’m just happy.”
Lovern: “Because of all your cards?”
Stanton: “Yeah.”

Stanton is a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan. He got a lot of special gifts, but one blew him away: A helmet signed by Odell Beckham, Jr.

There was also a surprise parade on the day of Stanton’s birthday, which was last Saturday.

“It was just breathtaking. The emotions were just wild, it was wild,” Saccomen said.

Saccomen says even during these tough times, Stanton is a bright spot who needs to be shared with the world.

“Richard is so innocent in these times. He doesn’t understand what’s going on,” she said. “None of that is ever brought up and he’s so positive.”

Saccomen says we can all learn a lot from people like him.

“They’re special but they are such a good special. They are good for us,” she said.

They both want to say thank you to everyone who made this birthday so special.

“I want to thank everyone who appeared for the parade, who mailed a card, mailed a gift, whatever it was. It made Richard smile, so he never stopped smiling,” Saccomen said.

“Thank you!” Stanton said.

And with a heart like Stanton’s, he never will.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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