Festival honors teen Parkland victim with NJ roots

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WOODCLIFF LAKE -

A special tribute in Bergen County Saturday honored a Parkland school shooting victim with New Jersey ties.

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14, grew up in Woodcliff Lake before moving to Parkland a few years ago. She was among the 14 students who were killed along with three teachers in the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Saturday marked the first annual Spring Pear Blossom Festival, which is dedicated in her memory.

Those who knew Alyssa say it's a fitting tribute for a young woman whose life was tragically cut short.

Families turned out to enjoy activities and amusement rides at the event, which got underway Saturday morning.

The teen's mother, Lori Alhadeff, recently launched a nonprofit called Make Schools Safe to help increase campus security. The goal is to make sure no other parents have to endure such heartache.

Today's festival also included a beer garden with proceeds from wine and beer sales donated to the Arsenal Soccer Club, where Alyssa was a team player when she resided in Woodcliff Lake.

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