This is tough week in Parkland. Three years is not a long time, and different people have different ways of commemorating the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The Sharek family decided to bring some light to the darkness. They decided to buy luminary bags for their neighborhood, with the idea that everyone would put them out on the night of February 14th as a tribute to the victims.
"Even though three years has passed, it’s very fresh for those of us who were here,” said Sarah Sharek, whose oldest child was only in kindergarten at the time of the mass shooting event.
When neighbors offered to help pay the cost of the bags, a light bulb went on in Sharek’s head: let’s use that money to help the Stoneman Douglas High School Junior ROTC program, because Peter Wang lived on her street.
Peter was a JROTC cadet. He died a hero, trying to usher his classmates to safety. His family still lives in Sharek’s community.
“I just wanted to make sure that his family knows that we haven’t forgotten about their loss and it’s something that we’re motivated to remember every year so more families don’t have to go through what we, as a community, have gone through,” Sharek said.
“With everything going on in the world, for someone to go out of their way and show a little bit of humanity and caring has to go a long way,” said Robin Schall, the treasurer of the MSD JROTC Booster Club.
Every year, the program offers three, $1,000 scholarships in tribute to its three cadets who died in the massacre. They are Wang, Martin Duque, and Alaina Petty.
Schall said this turned into an impromptu fundraiser at the best time, because the pandemic has prevented them from raising money to remember the fallen three.
"I think they’d be honored that people are remembering them and taking the time to fundraiser and care about them and they’re not forgotten, and I hope that’s a comfort to the families, too,” Schall said.
So far, they’ve raised $1,100, so they’re $1,900 short of their goal of $3,000 to fund each scholarship. You can help by going to email@example.com for Zelle donations.