Entire community bands together to help fulfill boy's wish - KCTV5

Entire community bands together to help fulfill cancer-stricken boy's wish

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After KCTV5's Erika Tallan's first story about Make-A-Wish kid Connor Ohlson, the donations really started rolling in, but more importantly, it's brought his town of Raymore a little closer.

It's hard to miss the signs rallying for support for Connor as people drive through Raymore.

"I think this is something I have never experienced. I just thought it was going to be my school," the 9-year-old battling leukemia said.

First, just his school was working to help him out. Raymore Elementary took up the challenge of raising $25,000 to fulfill their classmate's wish to take his family to Disney World and help grant wishes of other kids.

"I was just trying to raise money, so we could get enough money for other kids to just have their wish like me," Connor said.

A meter placed at the school shows that the elementary has raised $2,600, and that's yet to be combined with money that has yet to be counted from other schools in the district and businesses in town.

"Between the staff, the students, the parents, the community, organizations, we've had a tremendous amount of donations of time, of gift certificates, packages for our auction that's coming up, and many other ways," Principal Michelle Hofmann said.

The tight-knit community rolled out the donations, starting from $5 stars, Sporting Kansas City tickets and gift certificates going up to $400.

"We have a kid in need and, whether it's Connor or another student, we are going to do whatever it takes to support a student, and I'm very fortunate to work with staff and other leaders in our district who feel the same way," Hofmann said.

The fundraising is an opportunity teachers are incorporating in lesson plans as the district transitions to Missouri's new teaching initiative.

"It's important that they have strong connections and relationships in school with each other and with stakeholders in our communities and parents," said Randy Randolf with Eagle Glen Intermediate School.

Teachers said they hope students carry the lesson surrounding Connor with them outside of school.

"We hope to fund this wish, but we hope to be able to instill in kids the idea, 'This is what you continue for the rest of your lives.' This is how you support your community and this is how you become involved," said Bridle Ridge Elementary School Principal Al Voelker.

"All I want to say is thank you for all your money and thank you for all kinds of other things," Connor said.

There is a big fundraiser coming up this weekend at Raymore Elementary, and on May 5, Sporting KC is inviting Connor, other students and principals on the field to honor their efforts.

Click here for more information on the fundraiser, which will be held Sunday from 1-5 p.m. and includes a carnival, auction and haircut-a-thon.

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