Marjory Stoneman Douglas High resumed classes for the first time Wednesday since the massacre that killed 17 students and educators February 14.
While the school attempts to return to normalcy, those affected still need lots of support. Pompano's 26 Degree Brewing Co. is rising to the occasion by hosting a fundraiser Sunday, March 4, to benefit the families affected by the tragedy.
From noon to 6 p.m., 26 Degree Brewing will donate all proceeds from sales of its MSDStrong beer to the Broward Education Foundation, which 26 Degree Brewing owner Greg Lieberman says will eventually go to the students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High. In addition, the staff at the brewery has agreed to donate tips received during the fundraiser.
MSDStrong is the brewery's IPA1A beer, renamed for the event in honor of the students and teachers.
26 Degree Brewing is a mere 20-minute drive from Parkland. The shooting hit close to home for Lieberman, who grew up in nearby Cooper City.
"It's just total shock," he says, adding these types of shootings happen too frequently in the United States. "It was just a matter of time that something was going to happen close to home."
The fundraiser will include a raffle and a silent auction. Since the event's announcement, Lieberman says, several local businesses and companies have stepped up to donate items, including an autographed hockey stick from the Florida Panthers, a signed football from the Miami Dolphins, and a six-month membership to the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club.
Items include gift baskets, a Mockingbird electric guitar and case, Bose wireless headphones, and beer from local breweries such as Miami's J. Wakefield Brewing and Pompano's Odd Breed Wild Ales. The West Palm Beach Brewery & Wine Vault even donated two cases of wine.
Gold Coast Beverage, the distributor for 26 Degree Brewing, donated artwork taken from the walls of its corporate offices for the fundraiser, Lieberman says.
The brewery has received so many items, Lieberman says, that he and his staff have spent the past several days documenting all of the items.
According to the fundraiser's event page, several hundred people plan to attend, and more than 3,000 have expressed interest.
Despite the circumstances, the fundraiser could be 26 Degree Brewing's biggest event. Lieberman says it's all for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
"This isn't about politics," he says. "This is about making sure the victims of this are taken care of."
26 Degree Brewing Co. Fundraiser for Stoneman Douglas High School. Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at 2600 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-532-6964; 26brewing.com.
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