Mark Taylor
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When 12-year-old Connor Hecke of Spring Hill heard about recent tornadoes that devastated Joplin, Mo. and Reading, Kan., he immediately wanted to do something to help.
Connor initially wanted to go to Joplin and assist in person, but found out that access to the area was restricted to official rescue workers.
Then he got an idea.
“A couple of days after that, we got some chickens,” Connor said. “We were going to butcher them and eat them, and I thought, well I could sell these in a 4-H auction and donate the money to the tornado victims.”
Connor, a member of the Trailblazer 4-H Club, entered a pen of three chickens into the Miami County Fair and received a blue ribbon.
He then auctioned the chickens for $525.
Raymond Beckman was the winning bidder.
Connor donated $25 of the auction proceeds to the Miami County Fair, and intends to send the remaining $500 to benefit the tornado victims.
He plans to give the money to the American Red Cross.
“It feels awesome (to donate) because there are people out there that have lost everything, and they don’t have anything at all,” Connor said.  “So they really need the money.”
Connor said he hopes the donation will help to provide housing and food for displaced families.
“I wish I could have done more,” he said. “We have a loader.
“I thought we could help move stuff, but when I contacted them they said they don’t just let anyone in there.”
Connor, a student at Spring Hill Middle School, is the son of Dan and Roxanne Hecke, Spring Hill.