LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) – It’s been five months since the death of 10-year-old Lily Peters. Even now, people are still making an effort to preserve her memory.
Thanks to a group of moms, purple benches bearing Lily’s name have been placed in locations she loved.
“We as mothers just felt like we wanted to do something to help the families and the communities that were directly involved in it,” Samantha Haas said.
Outside of Ultimate Performance Gymnastics and Cheer in Lake Hallie, you’ll find one of those purple benches with the name “Lily Peters”.
“She actually attended this facility for gymnastics,” Haas said.
Lily’s death devasted the Chippewa Falls community and surrounding areas.
Haas, along with fellow mom friend Erica Bertrand, decided to sell bracelets to raise funds for a bench in her honor.
“Me and her do just like small crafts on the side and so we came up with the idea of making the bracelet bands and we decided to ask for a $2 donation per band,” Haas said.
Haas says a portion of the proceeds raised is thanks to Rachel Meyer who owns Cravings Food Truck.
“She was donating 10% of the meals sold to a fund, and she was selling ribbons for $5,” Haas said. “And so she came up with a fund and she contacted us and wanted to donate those funds to add to our bench collection.”
Not knowing their gesture of kindness would take off, more than $4,000 was raised making their total enough to purchase five personalized benches from Excel Steel in Stanley, WI.
“It’s hard to spread kindness and we thought it was going to be in a little way and it obviously has become a lot more because this, I never expected any of this,” Haas said.
Haas, who is from Medford, saw firsthand how communities rallied behind Lily.
“I drove around and there was purple everywhere and I mean from town to town,” Haas said. “It’s an overwhelming feeling.”
The benches are another dedication that Haas hopes will leave a lasting impression.
“We just wanted a place that people could rest and you know, sit with their thoughts and feelings,” Haas said. “The community will have plenty of people that go by them or use them and it’s something that will last forever.”
In addition to UPGC, purple “Lily Peters” benches can be found outside of Valley Vineyard Church and Olson’s Ice Cream in Chippewa Falls.
One bench was placed in a private location just for Lily’s family and the fifth bench will be installed in Medford.
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