Clearwater aquarium ticket sales to benefit soldier's son
CLEARWATER - The Clearwater Marine Aquarium said it will donate $2 off every admission ticket Saturday to an education fund for the infant son of a soldier killed in Afghanistan. The Guy Harvey Foundation also donated $2,500 to the education fund for 10-month-old Brodey Sitton, whose father, Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton, died last month. "Well, it's hopefully going to send him through college now that it's just him and I," said Sitton's widow, Sarah, who was invited by the aquarium to bring Brodey for a private visit Friday. Brodey spent time with Winter the dolphin, star of last year's feature film, "Dolphin Tale."Sarah Sitton said she and her husband always planned on making a trip to the aquarium with Brodey. "He would love to be here," she said. "We actually swam with dolphins on our honeymoon and he loved the experience and would've loved to do it again." On Aug. 2, Matthew Sitton, 26, was killed by an improvised explosive device while he was on patrol in Afghanistan. He was supposed to return home in September. Sitton grew up in Largo and was a star athlete at Indian Rocks Christian School. An Army Ranger and sniper, he was sent overseas three times. An aquarium board member heard about Sitton's death and stepped in to help by offering the private visit for Brodey and the Saturday donation to his education fund. "We teamed up and we thought on the anniversary week of 9/11, 'What a great way to allow the public to give back,' " said Tom Orr, the aquarium's board chairman. Donations to the fund can also be made online at seewinter.com/mattfund. Tickets to the aquarium cost $19.95 ($14.95 for ages 3 to 12, $17.95 for ages 60 and older). The aquarium is at 249 Windward Passage, off the Clearwater Memorial Causeway (State Road 60) just east of Clearwater Beach.
News Channel 8 reporter Chip Osowski contributed to this report.