NFL star J.J. Watt is trying to do some good in the face of an unspeakable tragedy.
On Sunday, November 21, 2021, the residents of Waukesha were out enjoying the annual Christmas parade. The parade featured dancers and performers of all ages: the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies dance troupe, a high school band, and a youth baseball team, and even children as young as two years old being pulled along by strollers.
However, a festive scene turned into one of chaos when a red SUV sped through the parade, striking those in the street without slowing down. Most of the victims were members of the Dancing Grannies group: Virginia Sorenson, 79, LeAnna Owen, 71, and Tamara Durand, 52. The other two adults killed were Jane Kulich, 52, and Wilhelm Hospel, 81.
A sixth victim also lost their life in the attack. As The Blast previously reported, 8-year-old Jackson Sparks died yesterday. According to the family’s GoFundMe page, Sparks was undergoing brain surgery on Sunday night and passed away from his injuries on Tuesday. Sparks had been marching alongside his brother, Tucker Sparks, 12, who has also been hospitalized in the attack, suffering from road rash and a fractured skull.
The driver of the red SUV, Darrell Brooks Jr., is a registered sex offender with a decades-long criminal history. He is being held on a $5 million dollar bond and faces at least five accounts of first-degree intentional homicide.
NFL Star Offers To Pay For The Funeral Expenses Of All Waukesha Parade Victims
According to TMZ, Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end J.J. Watt has offered to pay the funeral expenses for all victims in the wake of this “horrific” tragedy.
Watt, a Wisconsin native, went to high school in Pewaukee, just a few miles away from Waukesha, so this hits especially close to home for the pro-NFL athlete.
However, this is not the first time Watt has stepped up to help others. In 2018, he offered to cover the funeral costs for victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting and raised over $37 million to assist Houston and the Gulf Region after the area was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
In 2017, he was named NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year to recognize him for his charitable efforts.
Waukesha Victim Donating Organs To Survivors
One of the victims of the attack, Jane Kulich, was a charitable mother of three who always tried to provide a helping hand to those around her. Described as a “die-hard Green Bay Packers fan,” she was known as a regular churchgoer who entertained others with her quick wit and fun-loving sense of humor.
Now, even after her death, she is still trying to give back to those around her.
Her sister-in-law, Shawn Kulich, told PEOPLE that Jane was an organ donor, and added that some of her organs may be donated to some survivors of the tragedy.
“God works in mysterious ways,” Shawn wrote. “My brother and his children were so thrilled to learn this news. Some tears from this tragedy have been turned into tears of joy now!!!! I know Jane is smiling for this!”
She revealed that Jane was there because “her employer asked her to go to the parade and help pass out candy to the children dressed in a Christmas outfit. That’s a thing she loved to do, was doing that for the children.”
Jane leaves behind her husband, three children, and three grandchildren. A GoFundMe account has been set up for their expenses.