FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Weeks after the Parkland school massacre, some dedicated teens threw a party to help a grieving community stay Douglas strong.
It may look like a typical teen party, but the crowd that gathered at Vibe Las Olas in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday was there for the students and community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
“It hits so close to home. It’s 10 miles from my high school,” said Hannah Senecal, a senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and the secretary of Florida Girls Giving Back, a local nonprofit run completely by teenage girls.
When asked whether her mind often goes back to the Feb. 14 shooting, Florida Girls member Annabelle McGarry said, “I do. I think about, what if [it happened] at my school? It scares me.”
The party was planned as the first fundraiser for Florida Girls Giving Back, but when the young philanthropists saw what happened at a school in their own backyard, they adjusted.
“We have an event to raise money for Stoneman Douglas, and all funds raised here today will be matched 100 percent by Florida Girls Giving Back,” said Ava Daly, the group’s treasurer.
Students from several area high schools were invited for music, food and fun.
Two years ago, when the teens started their nonprofit to impact the community, they had no idea how a horrific event could impact South Florida’s young people.
Daly said they were glad to have been able to give back, and she expressed her gratitude to those who helped make Saturday’s event possible. “I would like to thank Tim Petrillo from the Restaurant People for helping us get this great venue and also providing food from YOLO for us,” she said.
If you’d like to make a donation to Florida Girls Giving Back, click here.
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