By Jill Fox
Stand With Parkland is off to the races with their first official independent fundraiser in the newly remodeled Country Club of Coral Springs.
Founded by all 17 families who lost a child or a spouse at Marjory Stoneman Douglas on February 14, Stand With Parkland’s mission is to take action on school violence so that no other families have to experience the pain that they had to endure.
“We’re looking forward to a night to bring everyone together,” said Jennifer Montalto, whose daughter Gina was one of the victims. “Even though it’s still hard for the families, Stand With Parkland: The National Association of Parents for Safe Schools still needs to raise money to support the initiatives we are fighting for.”
Stand with Parkland’s three main agendas are securing school campuses, mental health screening and support programs and responsible firearms ownership.
Montalto was given the idea for the unique event by her brother, who heard about “A Nite at the Races” – a company used primarily for fundraising events that provides everything needed to recreate the atmosphere of being at the race track, including footage from actual horse races. Montalto said she had actually been thinking of going to the Kentucky Derby, but liked the idea of using it as a theme for a local fundraiser much better.
She said she didn’t recall anyone in the area doing an event like this and thought this would be a great opportunity to get the men involved.
“We have so many luncheons and galas, and not much for the guys,” she said.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., attendees can sip on cocktails, dine on unique hors d’oeuvres and enjoy live interactive racing entertainment while dressed in their derby day best for a chance to win the ladies’ hat or dapper men’s best-dressed contest. The evening will also include a silent auction, featuring pieces from local artists, Nava Lundy and Justin Kelefas, various local summer camp sessions, and autographed sports and music memorabilia.
One hundred percent of all donations and proceeds will go to the organization.
Act now to make sure to get in the gate because only 200 event tickets will be sold, which start at $70 each, and include “funny money” for betting. Guests also have a chance to donate by purchasing and naming a horse for just $25. Each race winner will be entered into a raffle for some great prizes.
Stand With Parkland: The National Association of Parents for Safe Schools Night at the Races will be held on Thursday, May 2, from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at The Country Club of Coral Springs 10800 West Sample Road Coral Springs, FL 33065. Visit Night at the Races to purchase tickets. For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jennifer Montalto at Jennifer@StandWithParkland.org.
- 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.