Women’s Lacrosse Takes Top Honors in “Yards for Yeardley” Event
Safe Trax Program Director Jennifer Jones presents the “Team/Organization with Most Yardage” award to Utica’s Women’s Lacrosse team.
by Jennifer Jones, Safe Trax Program Director
Last semester, the annual Yards for Yeardley event was hosted by the Women's Lacrosse Team in collaboration with UC’s Safe Trax Program. The event was created by the One Love Foundation, which was founded after the tragic 2010 murder of UVA student-athlete Yeardley Love by her partner, George Huguely V. The One Love Foundation focuses on education and awareness about intimate partner violence, and this event creates awareness and educates college communities.
The goal of the event is to pledge yards completed on a track or field to the mission of prevention, education, and awareness. It also serves as a way for the community to recognize victims of intimate partner violence and pledge yardage in tribute or memory of them.
Utica College’s Yards for Yeardley event was held in the Dome, where participants ran, skipped and walked their way to 224,412 yards (roughly 520 laps). Luminaries were also placed around the track in memory or tribute to those who have survived or fell victim to intimate partner violence. In addition, participants were able to create cards that share a message of hope to survivors who work with Safe Trax or the YWCA of Mohawk Valley. WPNR provided motivating and meaningful background music throughout the event and created a supportive atmosphere for healing and empowering survivors. The YWCA of Mohawk Valley supplied resources and promotional items to support the event and participants.
Awards were given to recognize the team or group with the most yardage, as well as the single participant with the most yardage. The Women’s Lacrosse team received the first award, with 86,328 yards pledged by the team. For the individual award, it was three-way tie between members of Chi Beta Sigma Sorority; Dayna Losito, Shaleigh Kenealy and Bianca Bochkous each contributed 18,748 yards.
The Safe Trax Program will be bringing more of One Love’s resources to campus in February to recognize National Dating Violence Awareness Month. The foundation’s Escalation Workshop will bring attention to intimate partner violence and recognize warning signs, healthy and unhealthy relationship traits and provide real tools to intervene. The date(s) for the One Love Workshop will be announced soon.
Safe Trax is a grant-funded program made possible through a 2019 Campus Grant awarded by The US Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women. Jennifer Jones, the Safe Trax Program director, provides education, prevention and awareness training, resources and referrals to survivors of intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual assault.
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