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Edgerton student organizes fundraiser for fellow classmate
Edgerton student organizes fundraiser for fellow classmate
Posted on 02/22/2017
Edgerton student organizes fundraiser for fellow classmate

(from left: Edgerton students Spencer Hensley and Connor McKenna)

Edgerton Elementary sixth grader Spencer Hensley cares about his friends and classmates. Recently when he learned his classmate Connor McKenna was struggling with a serious medical diagnosis he came up with a plan to help him.

He wrote a letter to Edgerton Principal Lisa Rowan asking if he could host a fundraiser in order to raise money to help the family purchase a service dog for Connor. He provided a detailed plan to sell bracelets made with paracord, a lightweight nylon rope.

Rowan approved the plan and had high praise for Spencer. “We are incredibly proud of Spencer, our students, and our staff who so willingly support this project with pride,” she said.

That is when Spencer’s family got involved and started making the bracelets. His goal was to make 100 bracelets—which have now turned into 300 bracelets. Connor’s family is also helping to make the bracelets.

Spencer, who also serves on the Student Council, explained this will allow his friend Connor greater support and independence. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping him. He’ll be able to get the money faster so he can get a service dog,” he said.

Connor’s mom, Heidi McKenna, said Connor has been diagnosed with POTS Syndrome which causes him to faint unexpectedly due to reduced blood to the brain that occurs when standing up. There is a program in California that provides a special type of service dog with an instinct to sense a drop in blood pressure and warn the person before they faint. The dog can also take action to break the fall to prevent injury if the person does faint, said McKenna.

Currently Connor is attending school for half days while being accompanied by his mother. He also has two sisters who attend Edgerton.

Heidi McKenna said the dog would be able to accompany Connor in public. “It will give him that sense of independence as he continues to grow up. I’d rather give him that freedom,” she added.

Third grade teacher Mitzi Walker, who had Spencer and Connor in her class, has been overseeing the fundraiser. The funds from the bracelet sales will go towards the cost of the service dog. The bracelets cost $5. They have raised $400 so far. The family will need to raise $30,000 to purchase the dog.

To learn more about Connor and the fundraiser to help him get a service dog visit

“It’s pretty amazing. Spencer is a really good kid who wanted to help, and he made it happen. I didn’t expect the outpouring of support. We’re pretty grateful,” said Heidi McKenna.