The greatest stage in tennis, Arthur Ashe Stadium, was also stage to a great cause on Saturday, when students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., closed out the 2018 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day Stadium Show.
Shine MSD, a non-profit, was born in the wake of the shooting tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February. Shine MSD’s mission is to raise relief funds for victims and their families and provide mental health programs centered around the arts at the high school and the Parkland community.
“It’s such an honor to be here to be representing our school and our cause, which is healing through art,” said MSD student and song co-writer Andrea Pena. “It’s just so important for us to spread our message today, for those who can’t anymore.”
Pena, along with peer Sawyer Garrity, wrote the song, “Shine”, an anthem about rising up after tragedy, finding hope and strength.
“It was easy for us to say yes to this event, because of the person that it honors and what he stood for," said Joseph Garrity, Director and President of Shine MSD. We believe that Arthur Ashe, in his message, and how he lived his life, was the same message that we want to bring by empowering and telling kids how important it is to use your voice for good."
So in the stadium named after a man who leveraged his voice for the benefit of others, Pena sat behind the keys of the piano to do the same, As she began to play, Garrity and the rest of Shine MSD joined her and other AAKD performers including CNCO, Kim Petras and Alex Aiono, to share their melodic gift with the audience.
Throughout the speakers, these pithy, heartening lyrics flooded the stadium:
For more information on Shine MSD, visit www.shinemsd.com or text “Shine17” to 41444 to donate.