REEDSVILLE - A small community in our area is getting ready for an event that raises thousands of dollars for sick children. It's "making a difference," by keeping a child's memory alive.
This beautiful, beaming photo is one of the last taken of the entire Beaupre family. In 2011, 4-year-old Cooper died at his home in an accident. For his mother, the feelings of loss are still very raw.
"He was my best friend. He was the best thing I could ever ask for," said Sara Beaupre, Cooper's mother.
Sara Beaupre tears up, almost instantly, when talking about her sweet boy.
But out of the tragedy, a wonderful, unexpected event has been created. And now, it's a Reedsville tradition.
"And it's really... um... I get a little choked up, because there's really a lot of love in this community," said Dan Beaupre, Cooper's dad.
The event is called "Shoot for Coop." It's a day of family fun with archery, trap shooting and games, done in Cooper's memory.
"My hope was, maybe we'd get 50 shooters and just a couple of door prizes. And we got five times that," said Pat Ebert, event organizer.
"I couldn't believe... I was just so excited, I was just so thrilled that people would honor my husband and I and our beautiful Cooper," said Sara.
Reedsville is a small community. So when Cooper died, everyone knew about it and everyone wanted to help. And it's that small-town feeling of togetherness that has made this event so successful.
"I guess it's generosity... the local community just trying to help out," said Gerald Fischer, event organizer.
The small event has raised about $50,000 in it's three years.
The money is donated, with part going to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and part supporting local charities.
"Very gratifying to look out in the parking lot last year and see them parked halfway up the hill, on the grass," said Fischer.
"The people that came for support... I can't put words into that," said Sara.
The Beaupres say the event puts some peace in their hearts, however, it is not easy.
"It's a difficult day for Sara and I, first and foremost, because it does bring up why we're here," said Dan.
"But... the inspiration... the love that people give to us that day is kind of priceless," adds Sara.
"Everybody sticks together... I mentioned it to Sara... I said, 'We're all the same. You would do it for me.' We just do. Everybody pulls together, that's how I was brought up and that's the mentality in this area," said Ebert.
It's also making a difference, and helping a family, who will forever be missing a little loved one.
"It does bring a little peace to our hearts," said Dan.
"It just just that... it keeps my son's memory alive... and for that, I am so grateful," said Sara.
"Shoot for Coop" takes place in Reedsville on Sunday, August 11th.
If you'd like more information on the event, click here .
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