WAUKESHA - An area foundation has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations made to a fund set up to assist families affected by the Waukesha parade tragedy.
The Fotsch Family Foundation, founded in 2013 but with family connections that date back to 1964 in Waukesha County, will tie its own donation to the amount given to the United for Waukesha Community Fund from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.
The foundation's president, Nana Fotsch, said it was the organization's way of extending the idea of "family" in a meaningful way for those suffering directly from the Nov. 21 Christmas parade attack, which claimed the lives of six victims and injured more than 60 others.
"Family is not just biological," Fotsch said. "Anyone you love and care for is family. And to us, Waukesha County is family. That’s why it was important for us to contribute to this fund."
The United for Waukesha Community Fund was created by the Waukesha County Community Foundation and United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County. Those two organizations are working together to coordinate resources for the affected families, UWGMWC communications director Dan Herda said in a news release Monday.
All donations and the match will go directly to the United for Waukesha Community Fund, he said. Contributions can be made online through donation pages of the Waukesha County Community Fund or the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.
The fund has already drawn nearly countless donations, including more than 7,000 contributions in its first five days. As of Nov. 29, donations totaled nearly $2 million. That amount does not include the Fotsch match.
Regardless of the final total, which is expected to be boosted greatly by new contributions tied to the Fotsch foundation pledge, the outreach has been incredible, Herda said.
"It’s hard to compare to other campaigns, as this is very different," he said. "But it’s safe to say this is one of the most passionate responses from our community we’ve seen."
Officials were expected to begin distributing those funds this week.
Darrell Brooks Jr., of Milwaukee, is accused of driving his 3,000-pound SUV on Main Street in downtown Waukesha during the city's annual holiday parade, injuring dozens and resulting in the death of six people, the youngest 8 years old. He is already facing five counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Additional charges could also be filed.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Fotsch Family Foundation offers $1 million pledge for Waukesha fund