By Alex Corradetti
FRANKLIN, Wisconsin (WDJT) – The Milwaukee Dancing Grannies make their first public appearance since losing four members in the attack of the Waukesha Christmas Parade. Saturday, the group led the Franklin Christmas Parade in honor of members taken too soon.
Those members include Virginia Sorenson, Lee Owen, Tamara Durand and Wilhelm Hospel.
CBS 58 spoke with Ali Wachter and Jan Kwiatkowski. Both women were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies for several years.
Wachter was the banner bearer of the group during the Waukesha parade on November 21. She says she will never forget the moment her life was nearly taken.
“I just started hearing people scream, and I’ve done enough parades over the years to know the difference between the excitement we’re screaming, how we love you stuff, and how much we love you. a horror scream and it was a horror scream. I heard tires squeal. I turned around and I saw the car coming because it was basically me and the banner. I jumped out of the way to not get hit,” said Wachter.
Joining hands, the ladies decided to move forward together at the Franklin Parade.
“We’re out there bringing joy to the world, that’s what we do. What matters is that we are here, doing what we do. Honoring the union of joy and bringing joy in the midst of this truly dark time,” explains Kwiatkowski.
It was filled with cheers from the crowd now as the old ladies marched past Franklin. They held a special sign, honoring all four members they lost. Kwiatkowski said that the members are really missed.
“To do this, you have to love what you are doing and become a person full of life and energy,” says Kwiatkowski.
And now, the grannies will carry their spirit with every step in the future parade.
“We don’t want those four members to be known as their last march. Walk in the parade to honor them and to display their names. To show that they were loved and that they belonged to this group,” said Wachter.
The ladies hope to focus on the silver lining, feeling inspired by a heartfelt message from Jan’s Grandson.
“He said grandma, I’m really glad I came. Seeing all of these people reminds me there really are more good people in the world than bad people. So if a 12-year-old can do it, we can all do it,” explains Kwiatkowski.
Dancing Grannies said they have received thousands of messages on social media and are grateful for the support. They have also received donations from states around the country. They ask for your prayers this holiday season.
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https://kesq.com/news/2021/12/05/milwaukee-dancing-grannies-make-first-public-appearance-since-waukesha-parade-attack/ Milwaukee Dancing Grannies Make First Public Appearance Since Waukesha Parade Attack