KARL HENNESSEE of Knappa wants to do something to honor his son, AUSTIN, pictured, “who had a heart of gold.”

“He was excited to be on the Knappa Wrestling team in 2010,” Karl explained, “and he asked me if I would buy him a wrestling uniform ... I told him that if he saved his money, he could buy it himself. So he saved, and he saved. Finally in September 2011, he had saved enough money and was ready to buy the uniform.”

But the next day, Austin saw a story about a local woman with cancer who needed money to help pay for her treatments, and decided to donate the money he had saved for his uniform. “She needs the money more,” he told Karl, and gave everything he had.

“No words can say how proud I was of him,” Karl said. “He told me that if he was rich he would buy all the kids on the wrestling team a new uniform. He was always thinking of others.”

Sadly, 9-year-old Austin was killed crossing U.S. Highway 30 that fall. His dream, however, is very much alive.

Karl is holding a FUNDRAISER FROM 3 TO 9 P.M. SATURDAY at the Svensen Grange Hall to buy new uniforms and wrestling mats for KNAPPA KIDS WRESTLING. The event will feature the Highway 30 Band, a laser show by Mark Kriska, a costume contest with prizes for four age categories, a raffle for a digital photo frame, Fuji digital camera and an iPod Shuffle and a slideshow. It’s a potluck, so everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite dish. The cost is a suggested donation of $10, which is not required.

“I hope that everyone in the Knappa area will come,” Karl said, “and help me let my son’s dreams of his team getting the uniforms come true, and keep the memory of his strong will to help others alive.”

— Elleda Wilson

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