Courtesy of the One Love Foundation
By Katie Hoban
In the midst of a global pandemic, the athletic department at CUA has found a way to give back to the community. This year, the department is teaming up with the One Love Foundation to support the fundraising campaign “Yards for Yeardley,” which is being spearheaded by women’s lacrosse junior Kate Belhen.
Behlen attended the same high school, Notre Dame Preparatory School, as UVA lacrosse player Yeardley Love, who was beaten to death by an ex-boyfriend in May, 2010, just weeks before graduation.
“Yards for Yeardley was set up by the One Love Foundation to raise awareness for relationship violence,” stated Belhen. “Our goal is to raise $2,020 for the organization and its amount is dedicated to the seniors whose season was cut short.”
Eight athletic teams have joined the fundraiser – women’s and men’s lacrosse, women’s and men’s basketball, women’s soccer, softball, field hockey and volleyball.
The Yards for Yeardley fundraiser, which runs from April 3 to May 3, involves tracking miles through running, walking, or swimming to raise awareness, and pledging money to an “organization that empowers young people with the knowledge to identify and avoid abusive relationships” which is “the national leader in preventing relationship violence and abuse,” according to its website.
Men’s lacrosse sophomore Mike McShea has been one of the most prominent members of the athletic department participating in Yards for Yeardley, by running and posting on social media to raise awareness for the cause.
“As a program, Catholic men’s lacrosse is participating in the One Love Foundation Yards for Yeardley campaign to prevent relationship violence. We’re going to keep track of how much we are running as a team to raise awareness for the One Love Foundation,” stated McShea. “We are also going to be posting pictures and videos of us running around social media to spread awareness.”
Will Mulquin, a sophomore on the men’s basketball team, has been involved with the One Love Foundation since high school.
“One of Yeardley’s relatives would speak at my high school about relationship violence,” stated Mulquin. “Love went to UVA where my brother currently goes, so it means a lot to me.”
All money raised will go to funding educational courses on healthy and unhealthy relationships. The Yards for Yeardley fundraiser is not just limited to athletes– anyone can get involved. To register, go to the One Love Foundation website for Yards for Yeardley. There, participants can pledge how many yards they will run or walk, fundraise in their community, and spread awareness by sharing their yards on social media platforms, usings the #YardsforYeardley or tagging @Join1Love.
As of the writing of this article, 482,953,449 yards have been pledged.