By: Jill Fox
Westglades Middle School has reached their goal of raising $120,000 to complete two school-hardening projects which will include additional fencing and ballistic protection.
With the help of SOS Parkland, Westglades Middle School PTO met their safety and security fundraising goal, and the organization, Make Our Schools Safe matched it with a $60,000 donation.
“I am amazed and overwhelmed with the positive response that we have received from both, the community and Westglades families. We raised over $60,000 in just one month, and I would like to thank all of the wonderful donors, and especially Make Our Schools Safe, for their amazing donation,” said Pam Miller, PTO President at Westglades.
Founded in memory of her daughter, Alyssa, School Board Member Lori Alhadeff said this was something that her organization, Make Our School Safe, felt was important. They wanted to help Westglades reach their goal, and in the future, she would like to see it replicated at other area schools.
“It is with our deepest heartfelt thanks that we acknowledge our amazing community of businesses, families, and groups that supported us in this fundraising,” said Alhadeff on Facebook.
The Westglades PTO approached her organization, and they came up with the idea to sell 60 butterflies, each one for a $1,000 donation. She and her husband chose butterflies for the fundraiser because when they went to see their daughter Alyssa, after her funeral, a big yellow butterfly flew past them, like a symbol of hope.
The plan was to use Evan Haubner, an artist from Coral Springs to paint a large canvas for the school that would feature the 60 butterflies, each one personalized for the business, group or family who made the donation.
Although recouping these funds is her next step, now that this particular fundraiser is complete, Alhadeff said that her next goal is to see a Stop the Bleed kit in every classroom in every Broward County Public school.
Alhadeff said, “It’s important not only support Make Our Schools Safe, but to support SOS Parkland and Stand with Parkland. There are a lot of nonprofit organizations focusing on school safety, and for me, I feel really strongly that every group trying to make an impact is important. I continue to say that together we are stronger.”