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Northland Steps Up: Boy who inspired B&B Market’s food train makes milestone donation

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CLOQUET, MN -- Two months ago, we told the story of Blake Conklin, an eight-year-old battling leukemia.

After his 2018 diagnosis, the Cloquet community stepped up to help he and his family.

So at the start of this pandemic, Blake's father decided to give back to Cloquet, walking into B&B Market and buying hundreds of dollars of food, to be given away to whoever needs it.

The gift was posted on Facebook, sparking a food train, with donation after donation after donation, allowing B&B Market to give away thousands in groceries.

Tuesday, as his leukemia fight continued, Blake arrived at the market to make the most special donation yet.

"Blake's giving us $20 to put us over the $100,000 mark," said B&B Market owner John Lind.

As our cameras rolled, Blake walked a $20 bill to Lind, marking the moment the food train crossed into six-figures worth of donations.

When asked why he wanted to make the donation, Blake replied, "God always wants us to give."

His family was there to watch the milestone moment.

"He's a trooper. He's my hero, and any way we can give back we want to do that," said Blake's mother, Sara Conklin.

"Amazing," said Blake's Father, Lenny Conklin. "I never would've thought it'd be $100,000. It's been unreal."

And the train is still chugging along.

B&B owner John Lind says there is no sign of things slowing down.

"It's amazing," said Lind. "I have people come up to me and say here's a $100 bill."

One day a week is set aside for anyone in need to come get the food.

A donated trailer is used to deliver groceries to those who can't travel.

All of it is part of a movement, sparked by a tough diagnosis and a lot of love.

"Make no bones about it. Cancer sucks. Cancer's a curse," said Lenny Conklin. "But there's a lot of blessings inside it. This would be one of them."

Dan Wolfe

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