'Having that memorial just means everything to me': Waukesha reflects on parade tragedy 1 month later

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Downtown Waukesha looks a lot different than it did a month ago.

It's been exactly one month since several people were run down, killed and injured after Darrell Brooks drove his red SUV through the route of the holiday parade on Nov. 21.

Now, community members are focused on healing. Tami Evanoff is the owner of Burlap and Lace Marketplace. She is still struggling with what happened outside of her store.

"I do okay most days. There are some days that are harder than others," said Evanoff.

Now, Evanoff honors victims of the unforgettable event outside her store.

"Having that memorial just means everything to me. I've thought about in the last week -- is it time to take it down? And I am just not ready. I am going to keep it there for the dancers and baseball players that were in front of the store and I am going to keep it there as long as I need to," explained Evanoff.

CBS 58 spoke with Shelly Marquardt, president of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, for an update on the funds collected in the last month.

"We raised about $5.2 million and have more than 14,000 donors. We're going to Jersey Mike's and they had three locations that did a fundraiser and that was matched by their corporate offices," said Marquardt.

So far, checks have been distributed to five of the six families who lost loved ones.

"Families that have received funds have been so grateful. Our focus the next couple weeks are those who have been hospitalized, and make sure they have their first initial payment so that they will have dollars for emergent needs, whatever they may be," said Marquardt.

The foundation's planning committee expects somewhere around 300 applications. Marquardt says she is working with the district attorney's office and Waukesha police to cross reference applications.

CBS 58 reached out to police on Tuesday, Dec. 21. They say officers are doing much better thanks to the mental health infrastructure already in place in the department prior to this awful tragedy.

Mayor Sean Reilly also spoke with CBS 58 about how the community is doing today. 

"It's a difficult question to answer as we were reeling only a month ago. I'll say that we are doing good... but there's a lot to be done. What I take from that is that every single day gets brighter after this. I think that's a good thing to think of for our community," explained Reilly. 

The mayor went on to say he hopes everyone in the Waukesha community can celebrate the holidays but take proper time to grieve as needed.  

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