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Olympic Heights Shows Its Support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on One-Year Anniversary of Tragedy

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Olympic Heights Shows Its Support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on One-Year Anniversary of Tragedy

Olympic Heights is paying honor to the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on the first anniversary of the shooting that claimed 17 lives there.

Olympic Heights is paying honor to the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on the first anniversary of the shooting that claimed 17 lives there.

Olympic Heights is paying honor to the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on the first anniversary of the shooting that claimed 17 lives there.

Olympic Heights is paying honor to the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting on the first anniversary of the shooting that claimed 17 lives there.

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One year ago, one Feb. 14, 2018,  countless lives were destroyed in the tragedy of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in PArkland, Fla.. Seventeen individuals, both students and faculty members, had their stories cut short due to the horrific acts of another, rendering hundreds with unbelievable pain as their lives will never again be the same. A day once celebrated for love and excitement is now remembered as the day that one’s sibling, classmate, teacher, or acquaintance was killed in the shooting that took place on the grounds of Stoneman Douglas.

in the immediate aftermath, communities gathered together to commemorate those who lost their lives and support one another in the ongoing process of healing. To this day, one full year later, that community is still standing stronger than ever. Not only is it comprised of families of children who went or still go to Stoneman Douglas or those related to the victims, but it encompasses many from all areas of South Florida who are doing all they can to help in the grieving process.

In an effort to help the families that lost a child in the massacre or that had a child affected by the events, the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund was established, with 100 percent of proceeds being distributed to those families. The Broward Education Foundation announced the closing of donation acceptances on June 30, with a total of $10.5 million disbursed to the survivors and affected families.

The amount of support and willingness to contribute by those in surrounding communities provided these families with more encouragement than ever thought possible, and while this fund has closed, efforts to continue to raise money are still up and running on the one year anniversary of the shooting.

Many parks throughout Parkland, including Pine Trails Park, will be holding candlelight vigils to honor the Fallen Eagles that were taken in the tragedy. To specifically commemorate the loss of the school’s security guard and coach Chris Hixon, a 5K is being held on Saturday, February 16.

Counties and schools all across South Florida are joining the efforts to help spread awareness of the impending anniversary date. Broward District has declared a “Day of Service and Love” for February 14, in which survivors of the Stoneman Douglas shooting will not be required to attend classes. The school will remain open as a half day for those who decide to be present, completing community service activities. Senior Sawyer Garrity admits that “it’s going to get harder and harder” as the anniversary approaches, and is both grateful and extremely relieved that school will not proceed as normal that day.

Olympic Heights High School is one of the many joining the project to remember the devastation that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas last Valentine’s Day. Student Government Senior Class Co-President Noah Tobin explains that the Student Government Association (SGA) is selling t-shirts with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to the Stoneman Douglas Fund. Tobin shares, “As a high school so close to Stoneman Douglas, Olympic Heights cannot help but feel like we must do everything we can to show our solidarity with their students on the anniversary of last year’s tragedy.”

SGA Sophomore Class President Jessica Winograd adds that “the shirts being sold are to be worn on February 14 to show that OH stands with MSD.” One of the only true ways to remember and commemorate such a horrific event is to unite and create a memorial that can be physically seen and understood, such as urging an entire school to wear t-shirts in honor of Stoneman Douglas. This also allows for those who were affected on Valentine’s Day of 2018 to grasp just how tremendous the support is and how communities all around are working together to do all that is possible to continue helping those victims.

Winograd also proclaims that the OH sophomore class is raising money through pinwheel sales that will be placed at the FAU memorial with all proceeds going to the Stoneman Douglas Fund. She explains that the purpose of the pinwheels is “to show that our commitment is everlasting like how the wind keeps blowing through the pinwheels.”

No matter the method, schools such as Olympic Heights are doing all they can to show their support for the victims and their families that had a piece taken from them on last year’s Valentine’s Day. As expressed by Senior Class Co-President Lauren Kahme, “We hope that the entire MSD family knows that they have the support of everyone at OH.”

Piece by piece, it’s time to bring the theme of Valentine’s Day back to love– love for those who lost their lives, those who are grieving in the aftermath, and those who are offering their support. As the anniversary date of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting approaches, it’s time to bring the memories of last year’s events back to the surface, and work to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.

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Olympic Heights Shows Its Support of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on One-Year Anniversary of Tragedy