NewsWaukesha Christmas Parade


Milwaukee Brewers join growing effort to wear 'Jerseys for Jackson'; funeral services set for Thursday

Jackson Sparks
Posted at 9:18 PM, Dec 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 15:18:32-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers and several of its players say they will join a social media effort to wear their jerseys Friday in honor of the boy who died in the Waukesha parade.

Services for 8-year-old Jackson Sparks will be held at Brooklife Church in Mukwonago Thursday. Jackson was marching in the parade when he was struck. Jackson played baseball with the Waukesha Blazers organization.

"I'm an EMT-firefighter, my wife is a nurse, and the first thing you think of is you just want to dive through the television and help," said Todd Ahrens of Texas.

Ahrens grew up in Greendale and has been to the Waukesha Christmas parade several times. The news of the tragedy hit him hard.

"I looked at my wife and I kind of teared up," Ahrens said. "I said, we're better than this."

Milwaukee Brewers join growing effort to wear 'Jerseys for Jackson'
Milwaukee Brewers join growing effort to wear 'Jerseys for Jackson'

Ahrens said he read Jackson's obituary and noted the request that children attending the funeral wear their favorite baseball jersey.

That's when Ahrens said he got the idea to post on Facebook that everyone wear their favorite jersey on Friday in the young boy's honor.

"Maybe this thing will catch, and it caught, and it's just going crazy," Ahrens said.

Milwaukee Brewers join growing effort to wear 'Jerseys for Jackson'
Todd Ahrens of Texas

The post has been shared thousands of times. The Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Yelich, Kolten Wong, Brent Suter and more have shared it. Ahrens' sons posted on Tik Tok. Local schools are also joining the effort.

"We'll have our students or players wearing Saber jerseys, their travel team jerseys, any MLB jerseys that they'd like just to honor and celebrate the life of Jackson," said Franklin High School baseball coach Steve Drobot.

"Every baseball community, every baseball mom, baseball dad, baseball player, major league, minor league, that's clicked on this and said, this is so cool. Let's do this, let's honor this little boy that was taken way too soon from this world," Ahrens said. "Let's let his parents know that they have a huge support group out here, let's let them know that we are praying for his brother, Tucker."

Jerseys for Jackson
Steve Drobot, Franklin High School baseball coach

Ahrens has never meet Jackson or the Sparks family, but he hopes this effort brings them some comfort.

"I did Friday because they can kick back and they can look and go, okay, Jackson's not here but these are the people who have our backs," Ahrens said.

The Waukesha Blazers is fundraising by selling special T-shirts in Jackson's honor.

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