Friday marks six weeks since nurse practitioner Carlie Beaudin was attacked and killed in a parking structure at Froedtert Hospital. While the pain that night caused is still strong, the community is showing that its appreciation for the kind of life Carlie lived is forever stronger.
In the days after Carlie's death, everyone wanted to help. So, her family and friends decided to put the focus on a cause she loved, and the results have been unbelievable. In six weeks, nearly $40,000 has been raised for the Wisconsin Humane Society in Carlie's honor. More than 635 people have made donations, which still are being accepted.
"This kind of support means everything to the life-saving programs we offer," said Angela Speed of the Wisconsin Humane Society. "Especially for the medical needs of animals. Our biggest expense is veterinary care. This money will help tremendously. It proves how everyone was really mourning the loss of this beautiful person, and they had the opportunity to make something good come out of it."
Carlie's husband, Nick, wants to say thank you to everyone personally.
"In all the senselessness of the tragedy, every bad emotion that you feel, this is one pure positive thing that you can find in all this," he sad. "It's been amazing to see such support. I have good days and bad days. I know Carlie wouldn't want me to live mad or sad, but I sometimes feel guilty if I have a good moment without her."
The generosity is a testament to Carlie's big heart. Her dog, Baloo, was a rescue from the Wisconsin Humane Society. Many of the memories Carlie's husband cherishes most revolve around the love she had for dogs.
"In all the senselessness of the tragedy, every bad emotion that you feel, this is one pure positive thing that you can find in all this." — Nick Beaudin
"Once during rush hour on Highway 100, she saw a dog alone on the side of the road, and quickly pulled over and helped the dog find its home," he said. "She pet every dog she saw."
Her legacy will live on at the Wisconsin Humane Society. In the spring, there will be a bench with her name on it, added to the garden at the Wisconsin Avenue location in Milwaukee. That bench will also feature one of Carlie's favorite quotes, that is all the more fitting now: "If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever."
For information on how to donate to the fund set up in Carlie's honor, click here.