Sheboygan kids hold lemonade stand to honor father lost to suicide

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SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Sheboygan Chapter of Mental Health America accepted a very special donation this week -- an $800 check from a little girl wanting to make a difference in a big way.

Kyleigh Brunette earned the money by selling lemonade. It's a bittersweet gesture because two and a half years ago, Kyleigh lost her dad to suicide.

Wherever they went, Jordon Wakefield had his phone out, taking pictures of him and his little girl.

"It's always so good to know that she has those memories still," said mom, Brittany Brunette-Thimmesch.

Wakefield died in November of 2019. His cause of death was a suicide.

"He was a nice, funny guy and I love him and I miss him," said Kyleigh Brunette.

So this year to honor Jordon on what would've been his 35th birthday, Kyleigh and her sister Candyce, set out on a mission.

"So the sign was like right here. The table was like, it had to lean against it," said Brunette.

Making lemonade and raising awareness.

"It's actually kind of fun to sit out and wait," said Brunette.

"And I like helped like give it to them and stuff and get money from them," said Candyce Thimmesch, their sister.

"There was at one point where we had a line of like seven people waiting and we were just like pouring and pouring and refilling and pouring and pouring," said Brunette-Thimmesch.

"Every time I saw a person driving past I would hope that they would come so I could raise more money to give to donate to mental health," said Brunette.

"We had a lot of people that came and would just give us $20 bills for one cup of lemonade, a couple $5. There was one guy who literally emptied his entire car of change," said Brunette-Thimmesch.

In two days they raised $800 and happily handed it all to Mental Health America.

"She always was super close with her dad. She loved him with her whole heart," said Brunette-Thimmesch.

"I love celebrating my dad's birthday. Like whenever he was still around I would go discing with him and go to parks with him," said Brunette.

Keeping his memory alive and his love in her heart.

"What do you think he thinks about what you did? I think he's proud of me," said Brunette.

Our last question to Kyleigh -- how do you think you'll spend your dad's birthday next year - her instant response was with another lemonade stand, oh and maybe disc golf, he loved disc golf.

Mental Health America Lakeshore is holding a walk-a-thon on Sep. 10 in Sheboygan called "There is Hope". A link can be found here.

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