Almost six years ago, Bronxville girls lacrosse head coach Sharon Robinson experienced a terrible loss.
On May 3, 2010, her cousin, Yeardley Love, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend only two weeks before she was to graduate from the University of Virginia.
While Love, who was a member of her college’s women’s lacrosse team, may be gone, her memory was in full bloom on Saturday at Manhasset High School on Long Island.
Several top regional programs, including both Bronxville’s boys and girls lacrosse teams and Suffern’s girls lacrosse team, participated in the second annual One Love Springfest to raise money and relationship violence awareness for the One Love Foundation.
“My players have really lived this with me for the last six years; they take a lot of pride in spreading One Love to other communities,” said Robinson, who is also the foundation’s Vice Chairman. “They embody the spirit of One Love in terms of sportsmanship and taking care of each other.”
Through the games and fundraising of the participating teams, which also included the boys and girls lacrosse teams from Manhasset, Garden City, Syosset and St. Paul’s, as well as Lincoln Sudbury’s boys lacrosse team, the springfest was able to raise around $20,000, according to Robinson.
Bronxville’s boys lacrosse team managed to raise almost $9,000, mainly through a crowdrise page and through fundraising efforts during school lunches.
“We had different groups of boys raising money at lunch and they would do a push-up for every dollar they raised,” said Tim Horgan, the team’s head coach. “They did a great job; they killed it.”
With the money, Robinson said that the foundation will be able to reach out to more colleges and high schools and spread more awareness of relationship violence.
“Every dollar we raise allows us to reach more students and more young people,” she said. “The more people we can reach, the better chances we have of making a meaningful difference.”
One of the tools central to spreading that message has been the foundation’s Escalation Workshop, a program that includes a 45-minute video that depicts unhealthy and abusive relationships, followed by a 45-minute discussion with a moderator.
Several of the programs involved in the springfest have either already participated in the workshop or will in the future.
Bronxville’s boys lacrosse team took part in a workshop on Friday, the day before its springfest game against Syosset.
“It was very powerful, a lot of them were taken aback,” Horgan said. “For a lot of the younger guys, it moved them a bit. They felt pretty good about going through it and learning what to see and if they see it, who they can go to for help.”
Suffern girls lacrosse head coach John Callanan said his team got involved in the tournament after being asked by Garden City to participate.
“It’s an honor, it’s an amazing cause,” Callanan said. “To be involved in something with (Yeardley Love), to be involved with something connected to her memory, there are really no words for it. It’s very humbling.”