Olivia Ruffner seemed more like 30 than a 10-year-old, her mother observed.
The young girl proudly brought home 75 books from the library once.
She was also so tender with her twin sisters, Emma and Elle, 7.
When Olivia learned her uncle was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, she thought practically. What could she do to help?
“It was bothering her and she wanted to do something about it,” said her mom, Dana Delph-Ruffner, who owns the popular O-Deer Diner in Perrysburg with her husband, Rick.
Olivia decided to sell odds and ends — such as glass plates, kids’ toys, and books donated from family members — at the Perrysburg Flea Market. The first week, she raised $640.17 through sales and donations at the market that is held Sundays in the parking lot at the corner of Louisiana Avenue and Fifth Street.
People, including those whose lives have been touched by cancer, stopped to donate money without buying anything. “If they lost somebody else, they’re really nice and want to help,” said Olivia, who lives in rural Bowling Green and is a fifth-grade student at Eastwood Middle School.
She will be out there at the flea market this Sunday, which is likely the last one. Her goal was to raise $1,000 but she thinks she will pass it. She has not donated the money yet; plans call for the funds to be donated after this upcoming market, the mother said.
The fund-raising is something positive for the child to do to help with cancer research.
For Olivia, her booth at the market was a way to help her Uncle Mike Glanville, 49. Mr. Glanville, a 1981 Perrysburg graduate, is a father of two and a pharmaceutical salesman in Columbus.
To donate money on behalf of Olivia’s cause, send checks to the University of Toledo Foundation designated for the Cancer Biology and Biochemistry Fund. They can be mailed to Linda Clagus at the foundation, 2801 W. Bancroft St., MS 319; Toledo 43606.
Contact Gabrielle Russon at firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-351-0361, or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson.