Owner store

Waukesha store determined to raise funds for victims of Christmas parade

WAUKESHA, Wis. – TMJ4 is honored to announce that we will be streaming the Waukesha Christmas Parade live this year so members of the community can watch where they feel most comfortable.

The community has shown resilience in the face of last year’s tragedy which killed six people and injured dozens more.

For a store owner, the tragedy is still very real, but the determination to carry on is strong… Waukesha Strong.

Every time someone buys a Waukesha Strong t-shirt or item from Tami Evanoff’s Burlap and Lace store, the fund set up to help victims gets another donation and the community gets another thing.

“It’s a big, warm hug. Everyone comes and supports Waukesha and comes from everywhere,” Evanoff said.

The emotional and financial support to the community is still going strong. The United for Waukesha Community Fund has now raised $6.7 million for the families who lost loved ones and the dozens injured and hospitalized.

Evanoff thinks the money donated has been invaluable.

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“I know people who have been able to get this money, either as advice or just to help pay some of the bills they’ve incurred,” Evanoff said. “This fund has helped a lot of people and it will continue to help a lot of people.”

The pain is still deep for Evanoff when she thinks of the people who died that day, including Jackson Sparks.

This month, a bench was added outside his store in memory of Jackson, who loved baseball.

“It’s tough, my son-in-law made this bench. He was here that night as well. It was part of his therapy to do this for the Sparks family,” Evanoff said. “I saw family members, friends, just hanging out and thinking.”

Evanoff will be the first to tell you that this year’s Christmas will be emotionally difficult, but she’s determined to be there, not just to honor the memory of those who died, but for the world to see Waukesha come together.

“We’ll be there. We’ll serve hot chocolate like we did that day, hot apple cider and cookies. We’ll have all of those things,” Evanoff said. “It’s going to be tough, but we’re strong. We’re Waukesha Strong, and we’re going to show everyone that.”

The fund of $6.7 million has been allocated. The families of the six people who lost their lives each received $200,000.

The 29 people hospitalized received a total of about $2.5 million and 37 people treated as outpatients received $408,000.

So far, $6.2 million has been distributed to 560 people affected by the parade attack.

Any new funds that come in will be distributed to those who applied and received a share of the funds raised. The fund is expected to be depleted and closed by the end of 2022.

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