PARKLAND, FL - On Sunday, Parkland Golf & Country Club hosted "We Are Stoneman Douglas," a food and wine fundraiser benefiting the Marjory Stoneman Douglas victims and their families. The sold-out event raised $264,191, according to event Co-Chair George Temel. He donated 700 "We Are Stoneman Douglas" t-shirts for the event. "It was an event for everybody - a community healing event," Temel said.
Toll Brothers donated the use of the Parkland Golf & Country Club for the event, all labor for the event, provided manpower for weeks to help organize the event, and also secured the donation of wine and spirits for the event. Temel said, "Toll Brothers stepped up and did something so special no other community has done. Extraordinary times bring out extraordinary people."
Thirty-seven local South Florida restaurants provided more than twenty different food, wine, and craft beer stations during the event. Marjory Stoneman Douglas students provided entertainment, Y100's Chris Cruz emceed the event, and the final round of the Masters was aired. "The jazz band was phenomenal," said Temel. "They played '2564' by Chicago and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. That was the favorite song of Alex Schachter who was killed in the tragedy."
Auction items included a seven-night Caribbean cruise for two in a balcony stateroom on the MSC Seaside; one week at a lakehouse on Lake Lanier in Georgia; three nights at Playa Hotels & Resorts; and a Miami Dolphins helmet signed by the team, among other items.
"It just made me so proud to be part of such a phenomenal event. I have no children who went to Marjory Stoneman Douglas but I felt compelled to do something. It just filled my heart to be involved with such great people and such an extraordinary gathering of our community. It was nice to see everyone with smiles on their faces in light of the tragedy as we all try to move forward. We were honored to have some of the victims' families attend and we are thrilled to have raised so much funds that we know will directly benefit them and their loved ones," said Co-Chair Debi Weisman.
Event Co-Chair Stacey Udine said, "It was a feel good event. There was no politics involved, simply just community healing. Over 30 restaurants came to support the event. They went above and beyond with their food and their presentations. The wine and spirits vendors were absolutely amazing. Between the MSD jazz band and Shine performing, there was not a dry eye in the place. Our silent auction went live a few days before the event and continued throughout the night. 100 percent of the funds will be going to BEF."
She said, "There are so many people to thank for putting this event together but I especially want to thank my co-chairs George Temmel, Debi Weisman and Allie Marquette for going above and beyond to make this incredible event happen."