By Jill Fox
Parkland-based lacrosse team Lax Mafia has created a business that’s taking outdoor celebrations to the next level.
As more and more birthday and graduation parties are happening outside the home, these high school athletes have formed a social distancing compliant, outdoor movie company, and donating their profits to charity.
Spearheaded by Lax Mafia Director Michael Evans, Backyard Movies South Florida is run by the players — high school athletes who attend schools like Saint John Paul II Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Pine Crest School.
According to Evans, the business was formed to teach the players responsibility, while giving them a chance to earn money and give back to their community.
The players handle all the labor and are managed by team moms. They earn a small salary and give $100 for each movie booked to Make Our Schools Safe, the nonprofit organization started by Lori and Ilan Alhadeff, who lost their 14-year old daughter, Alyssa, in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.
Evans, who lives in Mira Lago, has two sons on the team — Michael, 15 and Matthew, 14, and another daughter Jocelyn, 11. He and his wife, Amy, bought the outdoor movie franchise four years ago before moving to Parkland.
The team launched their website on May 18 and booked their first event within 15 minutes — a graduation party in Parkland.
Evans said he felt the company would be successful because everyone is having outdoor parties, and not entertaining as much indoors.
The cost of an event is $395, but customers who don’t receive a quote within five minutes get $50 off.
Backyard Movies South Florida is booking private parties, beginning the first week of June. The players, who will sign-up to work different events, will wear personal protective equipment and remain in compliance with CDC guidelines to protect themselves as well as the party guests.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 11 and Randi, 7.
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