Every summer, for the past several years, Bella Rose Desrosiers stood outside her home in Mill Woods in southeast Edmonton, wearing a bright yellow shirt that matched the colour of her lemonade stand.
Wearing an even brighter smile, she sold lemonade and other treats to passers-by to raise money for the Stollery Children's Hospital as part of their annual initiative called Simply Supper's Lemonade Stand Day.
This Sunday, the bright yellow stand was there — one of the 250 stands across Alberta — but Bella wasn't.
The seven-year old was stabbed to death in her own bed in May.
This lemonade stand was organized by Bella's mother Melissa Desrosiers and little sister Lily in her memory and to continue the tradition.
"It's just something we have always enjoyed doing. From shopping to buy this stuff, baking the cookies, doing the posters, all of it," Desrosiers said.
In Bella's memory, the Stollery also created memorial stickers that were given to every lemonade stand in the city. The lineup for the Desrosiers stand was long.
The event that started at 11 a.m. saw neighbours, community members, car groups and even police officers come by with masks on for a drink or snack, despite a windy morning with a slight chill in the air.
"Honestly warms my heart," Desrosiers said of the community's response.
"I know Bella is looking down on us and she is so proud," she said, her voice breaking.
With so many people, Desrosiers said her four-year-old daughter was overwhelmed. "She needs a little bit of a break right now, but she is having fun," she said.
She said after everything her family had been through, she was also promoting mental health at the event.
David Michael Moss, 34, was charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Bella.
Desrosiers considered him a friend and had brought him home in May because he was having a personal crisis, she said.
She was in the room, putting her daughters to bed, when she said he lunged into the bedroom with a pair of scissors and stabbed Bella.
According to police he was arrested at the site without any incident.