After watching students their age experience the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, Jupiter High School juniors Gabi Young and Josie Lesser felt compelled to do something.
So a couple weeks after Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people at the Parkland high school, the teens created a club called Stoneman Strong.
“The club came together really quick and then I was thinking ‘we should have an event,’” saidYoung, 17. And, now, they are.
The students have put together a fundraiser called “Jupiter is #StonemanStrong” at the Abacoa Amphitheater scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. to raise awareness about school shootings and money for victims.
“There is no Stoneman Douglas foundation yet because it’s still so new,” said Young. “So, we decided on the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation because it encompasses all the same values.”
Young and Lesser have invited local politicians and a woman from the Sandy Hook Foundation to speak.
Two local bands, Electric Fight Club and Nite Box, who just played at SunFest, also will take the stage.
“We wanted an event to get the community involved and felt like this was the best way,” said Young.
Stadium Grill and Bahama Buck’s will be on site for those who get hungry and both restaurants will be donating a portion of their proceeds to the Sandy Hook foundation.
Voter registration, school clubs, local businesses and information booths will line Crescent Drive, outside of the amphitheatre. People can expect to see Jump Starters, a club at Jupiter High, selling Stoneman Douglas lanyards and 3 Heart Strings, a business created by a student at Stoneman Douglas student, selling bracelets.
The event, which Young anticipates will draw a crowd over 100 people, comes almost two weeks after a school safety forum titled “Town Hall of Our Lives” was canceled at Olympic Heights High School. Concerned about participating in an event nominally associated with gun control activists, the school district told the event’s main organizer, former Democratic state Sen. Maria Sachs, that it was canceling the event.
When it comes to this fundraiser, Young said, “I want people to know this isn’t political or about sides. Everyone has the same goal and that’s school safety.”