By Kevin Deutsch
Gina Montalto, the slain Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student whose love of reading continues to inspire children across South Florida, will have a wing of her favorite library named for her Monday night, family said.
The Parkland Library children’s wing will be named for Montalto during a 5:30 p.m. ceremony at the library, 6620 University Drive.
Gina was just 14 when a gunman killed her and sixteen others at MSD on Feb. 14, 2018, marking the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history.
“Our sweet Gina loved the Parkland Library,” Montalto’s family, including her dad Tony, mom Jennifer, and brother Anthony, said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “She found the collection of books so interesting, especially the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson novels as well as the numerous children’s programs that she attended.”
Montalto was known as an artistic, gentle, athletic, intelligent, and kind lover of reading who enjoyed attending the library’s programs. A talented artist who illustrated for a local magazine, Gina’s art was previously exhibited at the library.
“The Parkland Library was an important place to Gina,” said Tony Montalto. “My wife Jennifer took her and my son there frequently. It’s another example of us being blessed with a good community, being willing to come together to remember our daughter.”
Montalto continues to inspire others through the Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation, founded to honor her memory, help students with the cost of post-secondary education, and make charitable donations to causes she supported. The foundation awarded multiple scholarships in Gina’s name last year.
Tony said that it’s important to remember Gina for her vivaciousness, her brilliance, her kind, and good heart.
“Having her memorialized by our city at the library that she loved so much is really important and touching to our family.”
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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