Little Hearts for Life event saves lives

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Eighth annual corn roast is Sunday

Times Herald Staff

The eighth annual Little Hearts for Life corn roast fundraiser for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the home of Joel and Ginny O’Harrow, 8187 Gray Lake Road, Oconto Falls.

There are activities for the kids, a huge bake sale, tons of bucket raffles and an interactive paddle wheel raffle throughout the day. The event is held under tents, and the cost of admission includes all-you-can-eat corn, hot dogs, sloppy joes, baked beans and a drinks. Tickets are $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for ages 4-12 and free for 3 and under.

Little Hearts for Life is a local nonprofit working toward raising awareness, funding research and ultimately changing lives of those who are living with congenital heart defects or disease.

The group was founded after two local families had babies born with congenital heart defects. Gannon O’Harrow, son of Joel and Ginny O’Harrow, was born in 2009 with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. After several open heart surgeries, he was listed for heart transplant and, at 14 months old, he received his gift of life.

While Gannon was at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee waiting for his new heart, Greg and Randi Maloney were starting their own heart journey. Their unborn child had a complex set of congenital heart defects. Trent was born just a few days after Gannon went home from transplant in 2010. Trent had open heart surgeries at birth and 5 months old.

Both families wanted a way to give back to Children’s Hospital, specifically to help fund research involving congenital heart defects, which is the No. 1 birth defect. Twice as many kids die each hear from congenital heart defects than from all forms of pediatric cancer combined, yet pediatric cardiac research receives less funding. The first corn roast fundraiser was held in 2011. With continued support, Little Hearts for Life has raised and donated more than $174,000 to help fund pediatric cardiac research.