By Bryan Boggiano
The Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation released a national call-to-artists notification, inviting artists from around the country to submit conceptual designs for a memorial to honor the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
The memorial will be on a stretch of land straddling Coral Springs and Parkland. It will be located within a preserve currently under construction and provide the public a place to remember and reflect on the 17 community members who lost their lives on February 14, 2018, according to a press release.
Tony Montalto, the father of Gina Montalto and foundation vice chairman, reflected on the foundation’s significance and the need to carry on the memory of the victims.
“This foundation was established to build the official public memorial to the victims of the Parkland massacre to ensure they are forever remembered as the people they were,” he said in a press release, “as innocent children with vibrant, bright futures ahead of them – educators and coaches who gave so much of themselves to their students.”
North Springs Improvement District currently owns the land where the foundation will construct the memorial.
At both the Coral Springs and Parkland City Commission meetings, Michael Moser, Parkland 17 chairman, stated the foundation entered into a land use agreement with NSID that secured a 50-year lease on a portion of that land on December 7, 2022.
NSID originally purchased the property for stormwater treatment purposes, totaling roughly 220 acres. They sold just under 70 acres to Parkland in September. The other 150 acres will be a nature preserve.
The memorial will be open during the day and some evenings. It may also serve as a gathering site for events to honor the victims, according to the call-to-artists notification.
Fundraising is also underway for the project, which Parkland 17 also announced Wednesday. Donations can be made here.
In a press release, Moser said, “we anticipate that kind and compassionate donor will find it in their hearts to donate to this Memorial to forever remember these beautiful souls murdered on February 14, 2018, tragically taken from their families, friends, and the world much too soon.”
The Parkland 17 Memorial Foundation was founded as a nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of constructing a memorial. The organization has individuals who are representatives of families of the victims, government officials, and residents in Parkland and Coral Springs.
Besides Moser and Montalto, other board members include Secretary Joy Carter, Treasurer Rich Walker, Director Alice Zendel Simon, Director Theresa Brier, and Director Bonnie Barnett.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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