The Waukesha County Community Foundation
and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
have created a fund to support the needs of families impacted by the Waukesha Christmas Parade crash
Donations to the United for Waukesha Community Fund can be made here
“At Sunday’s Christmas celebration our community experienced a tragedy,” said Shelli Marquardt, president of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, “We are saddened by what occurred. But we know that our neighbors and friends are always willing and ready to offer support any way they can. And we are grateful.”
“This is one of Waukesha’s biggest and most cherished annual events,” added Amy Lindner, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. “I attended this parade many times as a child, and I know how special it is to our community. All of us at United Way are heartbroken at what occurred, and we offer our support to the Waukesha community.”
As of Monday morning, five people are confirmed to be dead after the driver of an SUV drove through the downtown Christmas parade Sunday evening, according to a statement from the city. The vehicle hit several participants in the parade, including members of a girls' dance team, members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies and representatives from a local Catholic community, according to media reports. Forty people are reported to be injured, the city said.
The WCCF and United Way will be coordinating the combined effort to provide resources for impacted families.
WCCF is a pool of permanent endowment and project funds created primarily for the people of Waukesha County to provide grant support to charitable organizations. It has funds and $68 million in assets. United Way of GMWC funds efforts related to health and human services in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties.
Milwaukee restauranteur Omar Shaikh also announced Monday on Twitter that the new 3rd Street Market Hall in downtown Milwaukee will be hosting a "large event" in mid-December, where 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Waukesha County Community Foundation. The food hall and entertainment venue, located inside The Avenue development on West Wisconsin Avenue, has not yet opened to the public. Shaikh, a co-developer of the hall, said the fundraising event would be announced early next week.
"Let's raise 6 figures for the families," he said in his tweet.