March for Our Lives in Vail includes members of Parkland, Florida, community | VailDaily.com

March for Our Lives in Vail includes members of Parkland, Florida, community

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society

Locals and visitors woke up to a beautiful, springtime, blue sky morning, with a fresh, pristine white blanket of snow on Saturday, March 24, the day of Vail's March for Our Lives.

At 10 a.m., nearly 300 participants — including Colorado Representative Dylan Roberts — gathered in Vail Village and marched to Lionshead Village in support of stricter gun laws and advocating for gun control legislation. Organizers Cathy Vaughan-Grabowski, Kathryn Foley and Sophia Bielsky were thrilled with the crowd.

"This turn out has been beyond what we thought it would be in a small town like Vail," Foley said. "We are happy to be here and to make our voices heard."

Hundreds of thousands gathered in March for Our Lives demonstrations across the country calling for change, with about 200,000 people attending the March of Our Lives on the mall in Washington, D.C. In total, organizers estimated that there were nearly 800 marches organized across the globe.

"I looked at the map for Everytown (a nonprofit working to end gun violence and build safer communities) and the marches popped up everywhere; the country is blanketed," Foley said.

'Support the Cause'

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The Yaegel family planned a vacation to Vail in January, a month before the Feb. 14 school shooting in their hometown of Parkland, Florida. They decided to keep their reservation which fell on March 24, the day that people all over would demonstrate in honor of the 17 people killed in the Parkland shooting as well as for countless others who have been taken away by gun violence.

"We are from Parkland and we wanted to be part of our community and support the cause, but we found ourselves here and we were really happy to find a local march that was accessible for us and the kids," Wesley Yaegel said. "It means a lot to see everyone here supporting the same cause."

Carla Goffstein, also from Parkland, was able to meet her fellow Parkland March for Our Lives demonstrators and shared stories and connections.

"We moved to Parkland just one year ago. This has all been very close to our family," Goffstein said. "We moved to Parkland for the good schools. And since the shooting, these students are now making great change. Really good schools produce really fabulous citizens."

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at bettyannw6@gmail.com.