STEPPING UP FOR PARKLAND — USING LARGE GRAPHICS TO DELIVER AN EMOTIONAL MESSAGEMARCH 12, 2018| SpeedPro
Students across Florida are teaching the country, and perhaps the world, a valuable lesson about resolve, perseverance and compassion in and around a moment of crisis. As people in Parkland try to gain some semblance of normalcy in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that took the lives of 17 people, neighboring community members and businesses, such as SpeedPro, the nation’s leading large format graphics franchise, want to remind them they’re not alone.
That’s the message the students of Spanish River Community High School in nearby Boca Raton are sending to their peers at Stoneman Douglas, along with the help of a local SpeedPro studio. In the days following the senseless shooting, students at Spanish River immediately hung up a large banner. The message: “Sending our thoughts and prayers from Spanish River to Stoneman Douglas.”
What was once a blank piece of white paper was soon covered in colorful messages of encouragement. The abundance of messages necessitated an additional piece of paper. The Spanish River students were ready to deliver their kind words, but they needed assistance of their own. Stoneman Douglas administrators required all signs to be laminated.
That’s how Dan and Nathan Paris of SpeedPro Boca Raton were able to lend support to the effort. A member of the PTA called the father-and-son-owned studio inquiring about their laminate capabilities. “The woman was part of the Spanish River PTA,” Nathan says. “She first asked if we were able to laminate anything larger than 36 inches. I asked her to bring it to the studio, so I could review and determine the best way to get the job accomplished.”
Like many people in the area, the shooting was too close for comfort for the Paris’. Nathan is a graduate of Spanish River High School. His wife and her twin sister graduated from Stoneman Douglas High School. His brother-in-law, also an alumnus of Stoneman Douglas, graduated within the last five years.
“For us, this whole tragedy hit too close to home,” says Paris. “It was surreal. We know people who have kids who go to Stoneman Douglas. We heard horrible stories from parents who knew kids that were part of the incident.”
Paris and his father, who just opened their business two days before the shooting, saw this effort to help the Spanish River campus deliver a powerful message of compassion as the right thing to do. “I wasn’t thinking as a business owner; I was acting as an alumnus of Spanish River High School,” Paris says. “I wanted to do my part to help the kind-hearted students out any way I could.”
His assistance included not only laminating the banner at no cost, but Paris also added foam board backing to give the poster extra stability and longevity. “It was one of our first jobs, and we wanted to make sure it was perfect when it was delivered,” Paris says.
The healing from this tragedy continues nearly one month later. Time doesn’t necessarily mend all wounds. Students from Boca Raton are playing a major role in the healing process. It’s part of the many reasons Paris is proud to call the area home.
“When it comes down to it, the events that have transpired after the tragedy show that the students are more united than we think,” he says. “Everyone goes through problems, but at the end of the day, everyone bands together. Not only are the students from Spanish River showing their support, but I’ve seen students from other schools – many from miles away – march long distances simply to show their support. I’m in awe by the outpouring of support the students have shown following this tragedy. My heart goes out to everybody.”
If you are looking for ways to give back to the Parkland community and students, faculty and staff at Stoneman Douglas High School (or if you’re launching a different community-focused campaign and would like our help), please don’t hesitate to contact us at speedpro.com.