Benefit organized for man beaten to death outside Arrowhead - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Benefit organized for man beaten to death outside Arrowhead

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Kyle and Jenni VanWinkle were married on Aug. 19, 2011. Kyle and Jenni VanWinkle were married on Aug. 19, 2011.
Two years after their marriage, baby Will was born. Two years after their marriage, baby Will was born.
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (KCTV) -

A father who died after he was beaten outside Arrowhead Stadium only got to spend seven short weeks with his newborn son.

As police investigate Kyle VanWinkle's death, friends and family are holding a benefit to support his son and widow.

Many people heard VanWinkle's name for the first time when police announced he was the man who died after being beaten in a parking lot outside of Arrowhead Stadium during a Dec. 1 Chiefs/Broncos game. To those who knew VanWinkle, he was a friend, a son, a brother and the father of a little boy.

"He is the most happy baby. He is always smiling. He talks nonstop, which he probably gets from me. He also has a very calm side to him too, which he gets from Kyle for sure," said Jenni VanWinkle.

Will VanWinkle is only 3 months old. Jenni VanWinkle said her husband could not wait to become a father.

"He was very hands-on. Just the proudest person in the world," she said.

Jenni and Kyle married Aug. 19, 2011. Two years after their marriage, baby Will was born.

"He did anything and everything for Will in that short time that he had with him," Jenni VanWinkle said.

Seven weeks into fatherhood, Kyle VanWinkle died. According to court documents, a man repeatedly punched him in the face after Kyle VanWinkle was found in a stranger's vehicle. Kyle VanWinkle apparently got into the wrong, unlocked vehicle by mistake as it looked similar to the one he rode in to the game. That one was actually about 10 vehicles away in the same row from the one he ended up in.

Police did initially take four people into custody for questioning about Kyle VanWinkle's death. So far no one is charged. The medical examiner ruled his death as a homicide, but more information is expected from prosecutors and autopsy results.

"We wanted to do something. It was more of an issue of what are we going to do? Not if," said Joshua Clark, a friend.

Golf is how friends and family will honor Kyle VanWinkle.

"Daddy's Caddy is very fitting because Kyle loves golf and he was always excited about taking Will golfing one day," Jenni VanWinkle said of her son's little shirt.

She said Kyle VanWinkle's mother had made the shirt and given it to the couple at their baby shower and Kyle opened the gift.

Clark, a childhood friend and college roommate, helped organize the benefit golf tournament to raise money for Will's education and future.

"I just want people to know that Kyle would be absolutely humbled by all of this. We just had so many people reach out to us who have been touched by his story. He was just such an amazing person. All of these people wouldn't have come together to support us if he wasn't that amazing person. It is such a great feeling," Clark said. "I can't even describe. It has just been overwhelming the support we have gotten from everybody. Our friends and family and the communities in Smithville and Belton where Kyle is from. His work and just the thousands of people that we don't even know that have come forward and said this story has touched them."

The Kyle VanWinkle Golf Classic will be held May 5 at the Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club, located at 9101 Nall Ave. in Prairie Village, KS. They are still looking for businesses to sponsor the event as well as individuals and teams to sign up.

Organizers hope this will become an annual memorial tournament. Go to vanwinklegolfclassic.com for information on how to sign up.

There is also an education fund that has been established for Will. Donations should be made out to:

Jennifer M. VanWinkle, beneficiary of Kyle A. VanWinkle Memorial Fund
Community America Credit Union
P.O. Box 15950
Lenexa, KS, 66285-5950.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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