By: Sharon Aron Baron
Created to unify the community after the school shooting last year, the inaugural MSD Heroes Challenge on Saturday drew over 1,200 participants.
Competing as individuals or teams in a two-mile race of exciting and challenging obstacles, highlights included: a heat for Parkland Buddies, the nonprofit group dedicated to providing sport programs for children and young adults with special needs; Four athletes from SoFlo Movement who scaled walls with tricks and flips; and teams by local businesses and organizations, the largest being Hard Exercise Works Gym in Coral Springs with 219 members.
Founded in 2018 by local community activists Doug Eaton, Manny Mair, Amy Kenny and Debra Hixon, the Heroes Challenge was born to bring together South Florida communities in remembrance after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School one year ago.
Elected officials in attendance included Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky who thought it was a great event.
“The MSD Heroes challenge was a fun community event that brought out people of all ages to challenge themselves and honor those we lost and the heroes in our community,” said Hunschofsky.
Also in attendance was Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, Parkland City Commissioners Ken Cutler and Robert Mayersohn, and School Board member Lori Alhadeff.
According to co-chair Doug Easton, as of Monday they have raised $19,500 from the event, however, they’re still receiving donations – including donations from board members. Beneficiaries of the proceeds include Stand with Parkland, The National Association of Families for Safe Schools, 4fnow.org, Run4Biegel and Yoga4MSD. In May, the MSD Heroes Challenge will be providing two $1,000 scholarships to MSD graduating seniors who exhibit leadership in raising awareness for a safer community.
Sponsors of the MSD Heroes Challenge include One to One Fitness, Peak Seven Advertising, Publix, WAXY 790AM “The Ticket,” WSFS 104.3FM “The Shark,” WQAM 560 Sports Radio, Northwest Broward Road Runners Club, Sunshine KIDDS Dentistry, Nutrnext, SAT Prep, Nekter, Fusion Fitness, Rozen Orthodontics, DJ Stack and Wizard Creations.
Held at the Parkland Equestrian Center and Liberty Park, the event ended with a ‘Heroes’ yoga class following the race.