MILWAUKEE — Tuesday morning started out chilly, but inside of Colectivo Coffee you could feel the warmth of community as members of the Brewers organization and fans gathered to show support for victims of the Christmas parade tragedy in Waukesha.
"When I saw that news, I — I couldn't believe it," said Brewers pitcher Freddy Peralta. He said the chance to talk one-on-one with fans, who are also looking for ways to help and support those in Waukesha, felt good. "We are here and we are all feeling this moment because we are like family," he remarked.
"I think this is what community is about — it's supporting each other," added Brewers manager, Craig Counsell, who was also in attendance and eager to do something he loves, talk baseball with fans.
Dozens of fans dropped by the Colectivo location on Milwaukee's east side. They brought along donations of cash or check. All of the money raised will be going to the United for Waukesha Community Fund.
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Tomas Dominguez was the first fan inside the door. "I love the Brewers. I love the community of Waukesha and hopefully, we have some healing that can happen," he said.
Brewers president David Stearns will match every dollar donated. "I think healing is a process," added Stearns. "And healing requires us to lean on each other. And care about each other."
Cecelia Gore, the Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation was not surprised to see the crowd gathered inside the cozy coffee shop and described Milwaukee as a caring community. "No question," said Gore. "Our fans and our players are very generous. People have a heart for each other and I think this is what we need to do so that we can move forward."
The Brewers Community Foundation is launching another way to help raise money. Starting Wednesday night (November, 24th) ten dollars will be donated for every car that visits the brand new holiday lights event at American Family Field. It's a match challenge that runs through Friday. American family insurance and the Magic of Lights will match up to $10,000. Cars can drive through each night from 5:00 until 10:00. American Family Insurance is also making a direct contribution of $50,000 dollars to the United for Waukesha Community Fund.