A memorial garden dedicated to the 21-year-old Chetek native and Winona State University student who died tragically in a restaurant accident back in 2014 was unveiled today. Fox 25/48’s Brooke Schwieters spoke to friends and family about the legacy she left behind.

They called her “Tink.”

“She came into our gymnastics program when she was 5 years old and she was just a tiny little bitty thing, so we nicknamed her Tink like Tinkerbell and her passion was gymnastics. She was just a tiny thing learning how to do forward rolls all the way to becoming a collegiate champion.” 

Brooke Baures’ life ended after a dumbwaiter accident while working at the Wingdam Saloon and Grill in Fountain City. Years later, friends, family, and members of the community gather at the new Brooke Baures Memorial Garden carefully placed just outside of the gym she spent much of her time.

“This is a great place for people to come and just spend a little time and quiet, be able to reflect on things, on their own lives as well as Tink’s. So this is a great opportunity to be able to sum up her life.”

At the unveiling Sunday afternoon, friends, family and members of the community released butterflies to symbolize Brooke’s spirit.

“The butterflies are a symbol of that freedom that we have on this earthly life and going home is our heavenly home and just the spirit that I think goes with the butterfly. You know you start out in a cocoon and you grow and your wings expand and that’s really what happened with Brooke’s life, you know? We saw her growing and expanding her wings and horizons and the butterfly, to us, really resembled that.” 

Amidst the tragic loss, Kathy Baures, Brooke’s mom, says it’s important to celebrate her legacy and smile on.

“Brooke’s smile was just totally infectious and we all know that that’s what she would want us to do is to smile on and continue to move forward and live life to the fullest and have that heart.”