After an SUV drove into the Waukesha Christmas Parade on Sunday, killing six and injuring more than 60, the community has stepped up to help in a big way.
In the week since then, people from across the country have contributed at least $2 million to victims and other efforts in a variety of ways, including GoFundMe accounts, local fundraisers and more.
Donations have been flooding into the United for Waukesha Community Fund, which was set up moments after the tragedy.
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Since Sunday, the United for Waukesha Community Fund received roughly $1.8 million, with 7,000 individual donors. There have been donors from all 50 states and 12 countries.
The biggest donor was GE, at $100,000. Kohl’s, the Walbec group and American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation each donated $50,000, a representative from the Waukesha County Community Foundation verified.
More than a million dollars raised on GoFundMe accounts
As of Friday, more than a million dollars had also been raised for victims under the umbrella page that includes 29 verified GoFundMe pages.
The GoFundMe for the Sparks family has raised the most, with $428,498 pledged as of Friday. Tucker Sparks,12, is recovering from a fractured skull and road rash. His brother, Jackson Sparks, 8, died Nov. 23 as a result of his injuries.
Four other accounts raised more than $100,000, while six others have raised more than $50,000.
‘Line out the door’
Culver’s of Waukesha donated 50% of its Wednesday proceeds to the Xtreme Dance Team, which had many members sustaining injuries from the Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy.
A queue of cars snaked around the outside of the Culver’s building, 2600 N. Grandview Blvd. and out onto Grandview Boulevard, where it blocked a lane of traffic.
“I didn’t expect this,” said Waukesha Xtreme Dance Team director Sandy Feller.
Culver’s, 2600 N. Grandview Blvd., raised $28,000 for the dance team.
The Culver’s locations at 840 Sunset Drive and 1650 E Main St., both Waukesha, together raised $44,000.
“Customers were out the door and through the lobby. Not a single customer complained. The drive-through was wrapped around the building and down the street,” said Kyle Soderstrom, the owner of the Culver’s on Grandview.
“For us, this was more about grieving and coping than the financial part of it. To sit down and talk with parents and the dancers. I can tell you that the dance team loved the outpouring of support,” said Soderstrom.
At Coop, a downtown restaurant that is donating all of its Nov. 26 proceeds, a line formed even before the restaurant opened, said owner Joseph Fifnaios. “It is great and heartwarming. People were lined up and ready to go inside by 7 a.m. It was astonishing.”
Jersey Mike’s Subs raised $18,000 Nov. 24 between its two Waukesha locations, donating 100% of its proceeds to help those affected by the Waukesha Parade Tragedy.
“It was pretty awesome to see the community turn out in the way they did,” said owner Tim Downing. “It is a great reminder to me as to why I do what I do, which is to be an active business in the communities that my stores are a part of and to enhance the lives of others through a sub sandwich.”
“It was very inspiring and humbling to see the amount of people show up that did to support our efforts to support the community,” he said.
The restaurant donations all went to the United for Waukesha Community Fund.
Numerous other fundraisers by local businesses continue to raise money for victims, as well.
Sarah Volpenhein contributed to this report.