DC-area alumni of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will host a fundraiser Tuesday for the victims and families of the February 14 mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school. The event will take place at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place in Georgetown, and organizers hope to draw about 200 people (they say about 130 alumni are in the area). Proceeds will benefit the Stoneman Douglas Victim’s Fund.
US Senator Bill Nelson of Florida will speak along with Mayor Muriel Bowser. Two alumni will deliver remarks written by a teacher and a parent at the school.
The event isn’t a political rally, but the organizers aim to provide a space for community members to reflect on the tragedy. Mina Radman, a 2010 graduate of the school who is helping to organize the event, now works for a local nonprofit. But Radman still feels close to her alma mater—it’s where she met her best friends, and she says the school’s strong liberal arts programs helped her figure out her passion for communications.
“It’s a really great school, and I owe a lot of who I am to Douglas,” Radman said. “Parkland is a really great town to be from, and I think you can see that with the outpouring of support.”
Students returned to the school this weekend for the first time since the shooting. The student survivors of the massacre have emerged as outspoken advocates for gun control reforms. In the short time since the shooting, the students have pushed action and conversation around one of the most entrenched topics in American politics.
“We’re very proud of them and we’re here to support them with whatever they need,” Radman said.