By Jill Fox
“Always bet on Parkland.” That’s the theme of the latest fundraiser set to benefit school security efforts.
In their first joint initiative, SOS Parkland and Stand with Parkland have created an evening of casino games, music and more to help their cause.
“We’ve had a lot of tragedy in the community, so we want to try and provide a fun evening of entertainment and activities while people can be supporting the cause of safer schools,” said Tony Montalto, president of Stand With Parkland, who lost his daughter, Gina, in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
The two groups are raising money that will be divided between them to further each organization’s goals.
“For our part, we are working toward physical hardening of public educational facilities across Broward County, which has been our mission since day one,” said Bo Landy, president, and founder of SOS Parkland.
In addition to donating hundreds of security cameras to public schools in the city, SOS Parkland helped bring the ballistic glass manufacturer together with Broward County Public Schools to get the glass tested and approved for use in the schools. Currently, it has been installed in four schools and will be installed as each school approves it.
Montalto said SOS has been successful in getting things done in the school district, which is a tremendous feat unto itself.
Stand With Parkland, created by the families who lost loved ones after the Parkland school massacre, has been instrumental in lobbying for several measures: the MSD Public Safety Act, that passed in March 2018, the STOP School violence act, which gives federal dollars to schools, and the Fix NICS Act, that helped plug holes in the background check system.
“We chose to partner together because we like to see progress, and we know that it’s a lot to get through the bureaucracy of the school board to get things done,” said Montalto.
Both groups fully understand that there is no single solution to the immense and dire issue at hand, but at the end of the day, they share the same fundamental goal: to keep kids and teachers as safe as possible at school.
The casino night on Friday, September 6, from 7:00 p.m. – 11;00 p.m. at the Plaza Del Lago Clubhouse in Heron Bay will feature professional dealers with funny money, live 80’s band Rubixx, hors d’oeuvres, an open bar and more.
Advanced ticket purchase is required at $125 per person. The fun-filled evening is expected to be a full event, so it is recommended to buy tickets now.
Plaza Del Lago Clubhouse is located in Heron Bay at 11535 Osprey Trail. For tickets and sponsorship information, visit ParklandCasinoNight.com.
- 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.