Gina Montalto Memorial Foundation

$445,693 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 4,955 people in 15 months
Our daughter, Gina Rose Montalto, was a victim of the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.

Gina was a special girl who melted every heart with her infectious smile that lit up a room. She was instant friends with everyone she met. She had a great sense of humor, and always made people laugh. She was a kind spirit, always eager to lend a helping hand.  She was a member of her school Color Guard – a team which she loved dearly, a Girl Scout, and active member in her local church. She was a talented artist who illustrated for a local magazine. She enjoyed volunteering and loved little kids.  She loved to cook with her Father and her Grandmother, especially during the holiday season. She was an avid reader and loved Harry Potter books, Hunger Games and Wonder Woman.  She loved fashion and enjoyed shopping, spa days with Mom and NY Jets games with Dad.  She played soccer and flag football in the local recreational leagues.  She always earned the highest grades in school and had a bright future ahead of her. She was best buddies with her little brother and she loved her whole family especially all her cousins. 

Gina will be missed not only by her family, but by everyone whose life she touched. Gina always took great pride in her education. High grades and school involvement were a huge part of Gina's life. She always looked for ways to help others. To honor Gina's memory we are setting up a foundation to help students with the cost of post secondary education, as well as, make charitable donations to causes Gina supported. With your donations, we hope to help give the gift of higher education to other children.

Thank you for your generous show of love and support.
Sincerely,
Tony and Jennifer Montalto
(Gina's Loving Parents)
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Gina’s Sweet 16
Happy Birthday, Gina!

These are words we wish we could say to our daughter today. More than that we long to see her beautiful smile and hear her bubbly reply of “thanks Mom and Dad”. She knew she was loved and had a humble attitude of gratitude for the many good things in her life.

The last few weeks should have been joyful for our family as we planned for Gina’s birthday, and possibly a trip to celebrate it. Paris was her destination of choice. Ironic that the terrible fire at Notre Dame occurred last week and bought that city into the news. Additionally, there would have definitely been talk of her driving test and subsequent licensing. This would have been nerve wracking, as well as caused some headaches with increased insurance rates, worrying about a teen driver on the road, borrowing the car and such. As other families struggle with these challenges of raising teens, all I can say is try to embrace those challenges, because we wish we could experience those struggles, too. Please remember that our children are priceless and we must never lose sight of that.

On a brighter note, we have begun interviews with our scholarship finalists for the Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation’s Girl Scouts Gold Award Scholarship. It was a pleasure to meet these strong, capable young women who share the spirit of serving others that Gina had. One of them will benefit from your donations, which were used to create the Foundation and award scholarships that will help keep Gina’s light shining.

This weekend saw both Easter and Passover celebrations. Hopefully, most were able to reflect on their faith and share good times with family and friends. Gina loved family celebrations. The bigger the better. We hope that we all can remember to love those closest to us and be kind to everyone. While we can’t be sure, it is possible that this may have been Gina’s birthday wish.

We love you Gina Rose and we wish we could celebrate your special day with you.
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Thanks to all of you for supporting us in creating the Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation to help keep Gina’s light shining by helping others reach their full potential. We wanted to pass along a bit of good news for all of you. The Foundation has received IRS 501c(3) approval which means that all your generous donations for this year and going forward are tax deductible.

We wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!
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Christmas Day Message

As your family gathers together today we ask that you all show patience and kindness to one another. You never know which of these get togethers may be the last for someone around the table. Our family is fortunate to have many warm memories of our previous Christmas celebrations. Many smiles and the sounds of laughter and joy are the sound track that accompanies these thoughts. We hope you all have similar experiences to warm you on these cold winter nights.

If you are not lucky enough to be in this position we encourage you to try and change that. Look to what you have that brings you together and set aside the differences. For those that host the holiday gatherings, please don’t let the pursuit of perfection ruin a great time. From all we ask that you please try to be present with your loved ones today. Set aside the troubles of your work, school, or social media and enjoy those around you. Whether they be family or friends the people who gather with you this holiday are the ones who care about you most.

Thanks to all of you that offered kind words and support to our family in the wake of our horrible tragedy. Please keep us in your prayers because we need all the help we can get in order to work through everyday. Parents please hug your children a little longer today, and kids do the same with your parents. Your bond is forever but please never take it lightly. Reinforce it every chance you get.

Gina loved everything about Christmas from the decorations to the preparation (both spiritual and corporeal), and especially the family gatherings. So, in her honor, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
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Thanksgiving day 2018, our family will gather together. We will cook. We will share a meal. We will watch football and we will try to keep our traditions going. Unlike most families, we will struggle to find something to be thankful for in the wake of the tragedy that took our daughter from us. We will be missing the smile, the laughter, and the joy that Gina brought to these family gatherings.

The hole in our lives since Gina was taken from us will once again be exposed to the light of day and the wound that we carry - every day - will be raw and painful. There will be tears a’plenty as we think of the wonderful child that was tragically taken from us. Her absence has taken much of the joy from our lives.

Only by coming together and holding each other in support will we be able to move through this day. It is not much different than any other day for us. Moments of joy and moments of deep, deep, sadness. Today we will once again be reminded that our family is different than others. Our days of experiencing unbridled joy are over. The best we can hope for are days where the smiles edge out the tears. Where we can remember to love those that are here and still hold Gina in our hearts.

Today we are hopeful that the memories of our beautiful daughter bring more smiles than tears. We know that is what Gina would want for all of us.
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$445,693 of $500,000 goal

Raised by 4,955 people in 15 months
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