After Dwyane Wade made a surprise visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, he vowed that he would be involved in helping the students create change.
That will be on display this weekend.
Wade will dedicate a free gallery exhibit at Art Walk in Wynwood on Saturday and Sunday called “Parkland 17” that will honor the 17 members of the Stoneman Douglas community that were killed in the mass shooting Feb. 14 and will double as an opportunity for visitors to call representatives.
Wade’s gallery will be up for 17 hours in honor of the 17 victims who were killed in the shooting. It begins Saturday from noon until midnight and then resumes on Sunday from noon until 5 p.m.
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The gallery will have school desks to symbolize the students who lost their lives. Four iPhones that will dial straight to the U.S. Congress to allow attendants to voice concerns to their representatives will be on hand at the display along with the “Ring Your Rep” phone booth created by the Standard Hotel, which has a location on Miami Beach.
“He was mostly inspired by his visit [Wednesday],” Nicole Suder of the public relations firm Rubenstein, which represents Wade, told the Miami Herald on Thursday. “That really put the wheels in motion.”
While at the school on Wednesday, Wade met with leaders of the Never Again MSD movement and talked with them about their plans to influence change.
“They are well prepared and well aware of what they need to do and what they want to do and the change they want to see,” Wade said Thursday in his first meeting with reporters since the visit. “It’s great. … They’re just on top of it. It was very impressive to be in the room, sitting there with these young future leaders. They definitely taught me some things that I didn’t know. So they are very impressive.”
Wade had already made a touching impact on the Douglas community prior to the surprise visit on Wednesday.
He dedicated the rest of his season to Joaquin “Guac” Oliver, a 17-year-old who was one of the 17 killed and was buried in his Wade jersey. Oliver’s family were special guests of Wade’s at Saturday’s game at AmericanAirlines Arena, and Wade has played with Oliver’s name on his sneakers ever since he found out about him.
In the first game Wade played in Oliver’s honor — a 102-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 27 — Wade hit the game-winning jump shot with 5.9 seconds left to play. Afterward, he said he felt like he had angels helping guide his shots.