Knights of Columbus step up for Baby Carter

Published 8:55 am Friday, October 6, 2017

The Austin Knights of Columbus will be hosting “Bingo for Baby Carter,” a fundraiser for the family of infant Carter Heidecker, on Sunday at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 211 First St. SE.

Carter, who was born with transposition of the great arteries, is the son of Austin High School Class of 2004 graduate Paul Heidecker and his wife, Erin, both of Elk River, Minnesota. He is the grandson of Carmen Heidecker, who has worked for the Knights of Columbus since July, and her husband Gale.

A fundraiser will be held on Sunday to raise money for the family of Carter Heidecker (pictured). Photo provided.

Carter Heidecker was born on July 11 in the small town of Princeton, Minnesota. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, so doctors worked to raise his oxygen saturation levels. When their efforts failed, Carter was airlifted to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. There he was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart disorder in which the large vessels of the heart are not properly connected during in utero development.

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“My son and my husband and I drove to the University of Minnesota, and on the way they called my son and told him the diagnosis,” said Carmen Heidecker.

Carter had to wait 10 days before a surgeon was available to operate on his heart. But, Carter pulled through the operation. A week later, a checkup showed a fluid build-up around his heart, and another procedure was done to drain the fluid.

Today, Carter is doing well.

“He is in the right range for his weight,” Carmen said. “He is doing really well.”

Those who would like to help the Heidecker family with medical expenses can participate in the “Bingo for Baby Carter” Knights of Columbus event.

Austin residents Gale and Carmen Heidecker with their grandson, Carter Heidecker. Carter was diagnosed with transportation of the great arteries. Photo provided.

The event will include regular bingo and special games, including the cloverleaf, railroad and coverall. An entrance pack containing eight sheets with six bingo faces per sheet will be sold for $12.

Regular games will pay out $60 prizes with the last game, a double bingo no pattern, will have a $75 prize payout. There will be a $99 prize for the railroad pattern game, $200 prize for the cloverleaf pattern game, and a $500 coverall prize.

Regular sessions start at 2 p.m. Early bird, beginning at 1 p.m., will play 10 games with single sheets of four bingo faces sold for $1 per sheet.

For more information about “Bingo for Baby Carter,” email

If you are interested in donating, but can’t make the event, donations can be made to the Knights of Columbus or by visiting