By: Sharon Aron Baron

By: Chris Brunner

In a little over a month, donations to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victim’s Fund will be closed.  During this time, the Broward Education Foundation wants to recognize some of the businesses who have generously given to the fund.

Immediately in the wake of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Broward Education Foundation, set up the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund. Since then, more than $8.2 million has been donated.

“One hundred percent of these donations will be distributed to victims’ families, survivors and those impacted by the tragedy,” said Christina Fischer, Broward Education Foundation Board Chair.  “We greatly appreciate the incredible outpouring of compassion, support and generosity from around the world, but we are especially proud of our south Florida community that has risen to the challenge.” 

Making a huge impact on the fun was Weston-based Ultimate Software’s 4,300+ employees who contributed $250,000. The company matched those donations for a total of $500,000.

“We join our community in grieving for the students and staff who lost their lives and were injured in this tragedy,” said Scott Scherr, CEO, president, and founder of Ultimate Software. “The true character and strength of people often show in times of great challenge or devastation. We’re proud of how our community and the students have responded, come together, and taken action. It’s inspiring to see so many people join forces to support the families, students, and Parkland community. The entire Ultimate family stands with them.”

Renowned for its community philanthropy, JM Family Enterprises, Inc. donated $100,000 to the fund.

“The terrible tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left our community heartbroken. JM Family’s contribution is intended to help provide assistance to the victims and their families, and ease the financial burden they are facing,” said Colin Brown, Chairman and CEO of diversified automotive company JM Family Enterprises. “As a result of this inconceivable act, so many people are facing pain and suffering we hope no one ever has to experience again. I also hope our elected officials continue to find realistic and common sense solutions to help curb gun violence. In times like these, we must come together to support one another and be part of positive change to make our community a better place.”

Additionally, the Wanda & James M. Moran, Jr. Foundation matched the JM Family Enterprises contribution with another $100,000 to the fund for a total of $200,000.

On March 3, radio personality Paul Castronovo hosted his Meatballs & Martinis event as a benefit for Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and raised more than $250,000.  “My wife Gina and I, along with my staff on the Paul Castronovo show, were honored to be able to use whatever influence we have to be able to help the kids and their families, Castronovo said. “South Florida is our home, and this unthinkable tragedy deeply affected us. Special thanks to our wonderful friends that donated so much to the cause.” 

Shea Ciriago, Broward Education Foundation Executive Director hoped to raise $10 million before the fund closes on June 30. She thanked the MSD student-led March for Our Lives movement who has contributed more than $1.7 million, the Parkland community, who rallied in large numbers for the ‘We Are Stoneman Douglas’ Food & Wine event that raised more than $264,000,  and Wizard Creations, who created and produced thousands of MSD Strong t-shirts with Parkland PTAs which generated close to $205,000.

“While it’s impossible to name each of the 36,000 businesses and individuals who have generously given, we are greatly heartened by each and every donation,” said Ciriago.

Donations will be accepted to the MSD Victim’s Fund through June 30. Corporate or personal check donations designated in the memo line for the “Stoneman Douglas Fund” also can be sent directly to Broward Education Foundation, 600 SE 3rd Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

 The funds will be distributed to eligible victims in July. Application information has been disseminated to all known and registered victims and is currently available online at NationalCompassionFund.org. Applications are due by May 31. For more information, contact Shea Ciriago at shea.ciriago@browardschools.com

 

Chris has been a contributing writer at Tamarac Talk and Coral Springs Talk since 2015 and begin in high school. He is a resident of Coral Springs and is currently attending college as well as working at Parkland Talk.

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