WESTON — Wausau Metro Strong held a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a new memorial to the victims and their families of a 2017 tragedy on Wednesday, October 16.

Wausau Metro Strong began as a grass roots group comprised of community leaders passionate about the mission to create a safe community for all. In the wake of the March 22, 2017 deadly shooting where four people were killed by one man, it left the area feeling vulnerable and unprepared for this type of attack. There was an overwhelming response to come together and do more.

The inaugural Run to Remember 5K held in March 2018 raised more than $25,000, fully funding the memorial project. The Run to Remember was held again in 2019 with the money raised being used to make the community a safer place to call home.

“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support of this community.” said Cassandra Ambrosius, a volunteer coordinator of the Run to Remember and member of Wausau Metro Strong. “This isn’t something any community should have to do, but it’s a testament to our strength and willingness to come together in times of great tragedy. Countless sponsors, businesses, and people helped make this a reality.”

With the support of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin as fiscal agent for Wausau Metro Strong and an Executive Team committed to creating positive change around the mission, five pillars have been established to help guide the organization’s strategy around community safety: Being Unified, Being Prepared, Being Supported, Being Informed, and Being Educated.

Since Wausau Metro Strong was established the group has spearheaded change in legislation resulting in more protection for Guardian ad Litems, worked to update notification systems when there is a threat the community needs to be alerted to, met with leaders in the Hmong community to better understand cultural differences and eliminate racial bias and began establishing tool kits for local businesses around safety.

For more information about Wausau Metro Strong, visit WausauMetroStrong.org.