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Punishment Becomes Blessing For Parents

August 15, 2012, 9:57 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Punishment Becomes Blessing For Parents
PIERRE, SD -

If you're a kid, you've probably heard your parents say that your punishment hurts them as much as it does you. But some Pierre parents can tell you that punishments can be an unexpected blessing.

"Being that it's summer the kids were out of school and I had taken them to the city pool for the day," Jennifer Youngberg said.

But when Jennifer ran home, eight and ten-year-olds Sydney and Rylee Youngberg ditched the pool and went to swim in the river instead, unsupervised without a lifeguard.

Needless to say, their mom was mad and the girls were grounded.

"In order for them to get off of grounding, I wanted them to do something for someone else," Jennifer said.

Jennifer expected them to help with dishes or a chore around the house. But they opted to start a lemonade stand. Their mother didn’t know details until she asked how it was going.

"People are handing us five dollar bills and walking away. They're not even asking for lemonade. And I thought 'My gosh, what is going on outside?'" Jennifer said.

That's when she went out to see a sign saying proceeds from the stand would go to their dad who's fighting cancer and winning.

Feeling bad about people giving them money because of her husband's cancer battle, Jennifer's first thought was to take the sign down. But she didn't want to take her daughters' nice gesture from them.

As a proud mom, she snapped a picture and posted it to Facebook and word spread fast from there.

Mike Youngberg was at work and didn't have a clue it was happening until the middle of the day.

"I started seeing some of the e-mails going around and everybody kind of trying to come over and stuff," Mike said.

Their sign said 50 cents a cup, but before the day ended, the girls had raised thousands.

It can be hard for young girls to talk about something sad like their dad having cancer. But the two sisters shared a little, including the reason they held the fundraiser aside from the alternative of doing chores being boring.

"So we can go and visit him," eight-year-old Sydney said.

They weren't too young to know visiting their dad when he had to go away for treatments would cost money and they wanted to make sure they could go.

Needless to say, their little trip to the river has since been forgiven.

"Yeah, we got over that in a real hurry," Mike said.

"It was very touching and it was a blessing," Jennifer said.

The Youngbergs are back in Pierre after Mike's treatments in the Twin Cities. This is Mike's second battle with cancer.

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