By Jill Fox
When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened their doors in 1990, incoming 9th-grade students would be the first class to spend their entire high school years at the Parkland school. Now those first four-year Eagles are preparing for their 25-year reunion.
On August 3, the class of 1994 will celebrate together at the Funky Buddha Brewery which is owned by MSD alumnus and Parkland resident, Ryan Sentz.
“We will have this amazing space all to ourselves thanks to Ryan, and the staff promises to have some tasty brews on tap,” said 1994 class president Theresa Fontanazza Brier.
Brier, a deputy district director for US Representative Ted Deutch, has been working for members of Congress for over 20 years. She grew up in Coral Springs and chose to stay in the community and raise a family with her husband Simeon Brier, an attorney and fellow 1993 MSD alumnus. The homegrown couple has two daughters who now attend their alma mater: Angelina, a senior, and Gianna, a sophomore.
The celebration promises a variety of beverages, appetizers and a buffet with bites from the in-house Craft Food Counter & Kitchen. Other weekend events will be announced soon, including a family day, where children of alumni will have a chance to meet. During the reunion, alumni will be selling t-shirts with the original MSD logo from 1994 and donating the proceeds to the school.
“I think we will get more of a turnout this year because after what happened with the tragedy, people feel like they want to see each other,” said Brier, who shared that after the school shooting, the alumni immediately banded together to send MSD students letters and a banner which still hangs at the school. Many of them also became active in Mobilizing MSD Alumni which made its beginnings after the school shooting from a private Facebook group, to a nonprofit organization.
“Our class has become really close with Facebook and social media,” said Brier, “We were able to communicate and get involved with alumni from other classes.”
Since becoming so close, the 1994 reunion committee chose to open the event up to other classes.
“We are really trying to stick together, so anyone is more than welcome to celebrate our 25 with us,” said Brier.
It’s been hard because of what happened said Brier, but at the same time, she and Simeon feel so much love for the school and school spirit through their daughters’ involvement.
“We continue to wear our MSD and Eagle swag. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.”
The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at The Funky Buddha Brewery, located at 1201 NE 38th Street in Oakland Park. Reunion news and tickets are available at facebook.com/groups For additional information, contact Theresa Brier at 954-755-0135.
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.