Essentially Elemental collects funds for baby in need

By Purchase 'Kenna Soap' at Mountain Home Collection Saturday | Sep 12, 2013
Photo by: Donated photo Chelsie Walker sits with baby Kenna.

After reading the article "Hope for a 'heart baby'" in the July 28 edition of The Mountaineer, Chelsie Walker, of Waynesville, decided to do all that she could to help baby Kenna Aldridge, who has a rare heart condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). HLHS means the left ventricle of Kenna's heart is severely underdeveloped, resulting in the right side of her heart having to work twice as hard in order to function properly.

Walker knew Kenna's mom, Amber Aldridge, from school, and after speaking with her, Walker decided to make a specialty soap named after Kenna, with all proceeds from sales being donated to the Aldridge family. Walker also decided to have a raffle for a basket of products from her business Essentially Elemental, which specializes in natural, homemade beauty care products. Walker sold "Kenna Soap" during Canton's Mater Fest in early August, and she sold out of all 50 bars.

Walker is currently collecting items for the "Mending Kenna Jane" raffle, which will be held Saturday, Sept. 28. Walker has has received more than $745 worth of items that fill the basket that the raffle winner will receive. In addition to Walker's own products, these items include gift certificates for local restaurants, an Ingles gift card, home and office goods and more.

Walker will be at Mountain Home Collection, located at 110 Miller St. in Waynesville, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, giving away free product samples and letting people know about her natural, handmade products. Kenna Soap and raffle tickets will also be available. On the same day, Mountain Home Health and Rehabilitation in Hendersonville will be hosting a small business vendor event from 10 a.m. to noon, and Aldridge was offered a vendor spot which will allow her to sell tickets and soap as well.

Aided by other community businesses, Walker will continue the fundraising efforts after this weekend. Champion Cuts Salon in Canton will donate $5 from services Monday, Sept. 16 to Wednesday, Sept. 18 to the Aldridge family; Nathan Lowe from Blue Ridge Cornhole will host a tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Los Amigos in Waynesville; and there will be a barbeque dinner Friday, Sept. 27 at the Waynesville Fire Department. Proceeds from these events will go to the Aldridge family to help pay for Kenna's surgery bills and additional medical bills that include the shots Kenna receives every 30 days that protect against fluid build-up around her heart.

Additional fundraising events are still being planned.

For more information about Walker's products, or to buy Kenna Soap, visit www.essentiallyelemental.com.

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