'Streets filled with music and light': Waukesha community carols in lantern-lit stroll

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) - The sounds of Christmas carols filled the streets of downtown Waukesha Friday, Dec. 17. The community gathered to rekindle positive spirits after the Christmas parade tragedy.

Residents walked through downtown with lanterns in hand, an idea thought up by local businessman Dan Taylor.

"How do you heal your community? There's no roadmap for it. People usually walk the streets with vigil candles and it's somber and it's serious. We thought it was time to replace the vigil candles with caroling lanterns," said Taylor.

Taylor gathered several lanterns which people could buy for a $5 donation to the Waukesha fund.

People held the lanterns in hand to shine a light on hope. Something Norman Bruce, owner of Martha Merrell’s Books & Toys, says Waukesha is full of.

"The blue lights, all the things that are symbols that say the people of Waukesha are going to be okay, they just need to continue to process," said Bruce.

Taylor said he hopes this night strikes a chord of positivity within the community.

"We just want people to replace some of their sad feelings with happier, joyful feelings that are the feelings that most people are feeling this season," said Taylor.

Shelli Marquardt, with the Waukesha County Community Foundation, provided CBS 58 with an update to their fundraising efforts.

Marquardt says the fund is between $5.1-5.2 million right now. More than 14,000 people have donated so far.

The biggest gift this week was from the Packers. She says there are still a number of events benefitting the fund.

Next week, Jersey Mike's has asked about doing a check presentation at the Pewaukee location.

Three Citgo locations will be donating 0.1 gallon for the month of January. That will be matched by Citgo, so 0.2/gallon. They expect to go through 250,000 gallons.

Marquardt says they've distributed checks to five families who lost loved ones. Initial checks are for their emergent needs and they expect there to be two additional larger distributions in the future.

They've received about 30 applications so far. They will begin making initial distributions to victims who were hospitalized and injured beginning Dec.  20.

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