This month, HandsOn Broward transformed the garden at Ann Storck Center’s (ASC) Fort Lauderdale campus in memory of a special young woman with a vibrant spirit and the will to create positive change, Carmen Schentrup, a victim of the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The newly named “Carmen’s Garden” wasn’t usable for ASC individuals after Hurricane Irma in 2017, but with strong arms, elbow grease and love, the space is transformed, and the bright atmosphere perfectly reflects the life and legacy of Carmen.
Carmen was exceptional in many ways. She was a straight-A student who read over 100 books year after year. She played multiple instruments and sang in her church’s choir. She was even a self-taught German speaker. Along with her witty sense of humor, she had a zest for life that she shared with those around her. She also carried an assurance that she could accomplish whatever she set her mind to.
Carmen had plans to become a medical researcher in hopes of finding a cure for ALS. Even in her absence, her dream lives on. The Carmen Schentrup ALS Research Fund was started by her parents with her life savings of $5,628.84. It has since grown to over $162,000. Carmen’s legacy of generosity also continues in Carmen’s Garden at Ann Storck Center. Individuals in ASC’s Adult Day Training (ADT) program now have an outdoor refuge that’s serene, beautiful, bold, dynamic and colorful.
Thank you to HandsOn Broward for reviving this space in Carmen’s memory. This special corner of our Fort Lauderdale campus will be cherished as she was by so many.
Photos courtesy HandsOn Broward