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Lily Tritle, left, a first-grader at J.W. Smith Elementary, works with her reading buddy Reina Stone on Friday morning as they both sport hats in support of an effort to establish a memorial in honor of Mercedes Mayfield, the 6-year-old girl who froze to death in late February. MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER

Kids raise money for memorial to honor Bemidji girl who died of hypothermia

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BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Seven-year-old Kaleisha Preston sat in her classroom proudly wearing a camouflage military-style hat, even though caps are typically disallowed in local elementary schools.

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"When my grandpa died, I got it," the first-grader said of her special hat. "It's my favorite."

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