SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The cast of the Columbia High School (CHS) musical, Hairspray, collected messages and donations during show performances in March to support the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 14 students and three staff members were fatally shot and 17 others were wounded in a mass shooting at the school in February.
Matt Glass, a parent who helped put the tribute together, explained the impetus for the project. "As the production of Hairspray at CHS took place not long after the shooting in Parkland, members of the cast and crew of the show wanted to do something to show their support. So they made a display that was in the lobby for each performance that Principal Elizabeth Aaron mentioned in her curtain speech each night," shared Glass.
Audience members were invited to donate any amount they wished, and also to write a note of support to the students and faculty of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, stated Glass.
The project raised $1,000 which was sent to the victims’ fund in Parkland, and all of the notes were put together into a scrapbook which is scheduled to arrive in Parkland on Tuesday, said Glass.
The notes from audience members had messages like "stay strong," "we are here for you," and "we mourn with you and unite with you."
The Hairspray cast also included their own message to the students in Parkland, which read in part "thank you for being so strong we will continue to stand with you every day."