Monday, November 21, marked the first anniversary of the Christmas parade attack in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It was a day for the community to gather and remember the six precious lives taken: Virginia “Ginny” Sorenson, Leanna Owen, Tamara Durand, Jane Kulich, Wilhem “Bill” Hospel, and Jackson Sparks.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church and Clarendon Avenue Elementary School to be with the students and staff on this difficult day.
Beautiful Savior Lutheran School
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Dora (Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee - Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin), and Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois) were invited by Principal Wolff to support the students and staff at Beautiful Savior Lutheran School on the first anniversary of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy.
Many students and their families were at the parade one year ago on November 21, and that memory still causes much sadness, fear, and other emotions.
The students could visit with and feel the love and comfort of Tobias, Rhoda, and Dora. A day with much sadness was filled with gentleness, healing, and love.
Clarendon Avenue Elementary School
Monday was a difficult day for Clarendon Avenue Elementary School, which lost Jackson Sparks, a third-grade student, one year ago in the Christmas parade tragedy. The administrative staff, teachers, and the now fourth-grade classmates of Jackson remembered the blessing he was to them. His smile, his caring and happy presence, and his love for baseball.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited back to Clarendon by Principal Andrea Kaplaan and School Counselor Brittany Sadorf to be with the students and staff as they continue to heal after the tragedy. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Hagar (Faith Lutheran - Appleton, Wisconsin) Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin), and Samson (Zion - Marengo, Illinois), along with their handlers, were present at the school early Monday morning to shower in love, comfort, and understanding the teachers and administrative staff who had to face this challenging day of reflection and loss.
Tears were shed as they sought the comforting touch and gentle presence of the K-9s. Many tears changed to warm smiles and more comforting embraces. Once the students arrived, the four LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were there for the children to see, love, and seek comfort, calm, and gentleness.
The school community has done a beautiful job supporting the children and teachers through this healing process. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their teams are humbled to be with them on this journey.
Our prayers are for the Waukesha community, remembering those killed and injured on this first anniversary. We pray for God's protection, peace, and comfort and for them to know and feel they are not alone.