Count On Kids: Boy raises money for biological father’s headstone


FARGO, ND (WDAY) – A Fargo family adopted 11-year-old Brandon Bakke at birth and as he began asking his Fargo family questions recently, the layers began to peel away.

As summer slowly turned to fall in Fargo, Discovery 6th grader Brandon Bakke cranked up the John Deere, for yet another mowing job; this summer, he’s had a few. Brandon spent the summer mowing lawns for neighbors and strangers, raising money, not for himself, but for a stranger, by the name of Terrence, a man he has never met.

At Dakota Monument in South Fargo, artists and designers have been working with Brandon, coming up with the perfect marker to honor Brandon’s wishes. It turns out as Brandon began asking questions about his biological family, he learned his father, had recently died, and was buried without a marker, in Chicago. Brandon would mow lawns all summer long, raising money to buy his dad a monument; a father he never knew. They didn’t have the money to put one there.

After carefully stenciling, measuring, cutting and blasting, the workers at Dakota Monument slowly began to see the piece of granite come to life. This would be a son’s gift to his father – a chance to know the past, even though so much was still missing.

After days of planning, plotting, grinding and polishing, it came down to something wonderful: Brandon showing up with a homemade ceramic jar full of money.

He walked in for the reveal, a boy and his heart and a stone.

Even though Brandon came with a jar full of lawn mowing money, Dakota Monument, in honor of Brandon’s hard work, decided it would donate the stone.