beach clean up Gina Montalto
2020 Annual Beach Clean-up. {Courtesy Jennifer Montalto.}

By Jill Fox

In honor of Gina Rose Montalto, one of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, friends of the family organized a third annual beach clean-up as an act of kindness.

Jennifer Montalto, the mother of Gina, said the community effort started organically, just like their annual Easter Egg Hunt, when several of her friends organized it to help keep Gina’s light shining.

Known for her love of the beach, turtles, the color blue, and protecting the environment, Gina spent each summer at surf camp with a group of family friends. Organizer Amber Hersh, whose children attended surf camp with Gina, said volunteering and giving back is something the Montalto family wants to continue.

“When Gina was young, she was always volunteering and wanting to make the world a better place,” she said.

The event takes place Sunday, February 14, at 10 a.m. Volunteers should meet on the sidewalk adjacent to Deerfield Beach fire station 75, bring masks, gloves, and bags to collect trash.

“During Covid, it’s something positive, outdoors, and in the sunshine,” said Hersh. “Plus, it’s a great life lesson for any age kids.”

Attendees are encouraged to wear their Gina shirts, and some will be available for purchase at the beach clean-up. High school students earn service hours for their participation.

Gina Rose Montalto
Gina Rose Montalto

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Author Profile

Jill Fox
Jill Fox
Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.

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