As a member of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's Eagle Regiment band, Alex Schachter did what he loved to do — play music.
The trombone and baritone player “loved the marching band,” his family said on a GoFundMe page created to raise money for “other students to experience the joys of music as well as fund increased security at schools.”
Alex, 14, was one of the 17 people killed in the mass shooting at the high school on Feb. 14 at the hands of a lone gunman.
The teen, who loved his father's special fruit smoothie made with strawberries, mango, blueberries and coconut water, was remembered Sunday in a private service attended by about 1,000 people.
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“He was a sweetheart of a kid!” his family wrote on the GoFundMe page, which had raised over $120,000 by Monday, far surpassing the $25,000 goal.
Donations came in from across the globe, some telling stories about Alex. Others never met him, but wanted to help.
“I was Alex’s camp counselor at Eagles Landing,” Kyle Cook wrote. “Receiving this news was absolutely devastating because many of my past campers were at school that day. My hope was that none of them were directly involved. I am a Music Teacher in Virginia and the beauty of music can change the world. Alex was a very special kid and I am honored to have known him.”
Max Schachter, Alex’s Dad, told the New York Times that his son loved playing basketball and the two had recently talked about what classes Alex should take in the upcoming semester.
Alex “just wanted to do well and make his parents happy,” his father told the Times. Alex’s older brother, who also attends Stoneman Douglas, survived the shooting, the Times reported.
Alexander Kaminsky, director of bands at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, told the Sun Sentinel that Alex was a hard worker and wanted to make himself known in the 200-member band. Last year, the marching band was named the state champion.
“The improvement I witnessed from him was admirable and inspiring,” Kaminsky told the newspaper. “I felt he really had a bright future on the trombone.”