We had an excellent opportunity to speak with Cardinal Gibbons seniors Tara Dorsett (TD) and Ella Reaves Vaughan (ERV), co-chairwomen of this year's planning committee. This weekend will mark the 9th anniversary of the Raleigh One Love Play Day. These amazing young women have been a part of it since year 3! Below you can find our interview about this fantastic foundation and how it has become a staple of every lacrosse season in the triangle.
TL: Can you tell me what One Love is and how it's grown in the Raleigh community?
ERV: The One Love Foundation was founded in 2010 after the passing of Yeardley Love, a senior-star lacrosse player at The University of Virginia, whose life tragically ended in a violent relationship at the hands of her former boyfriend. Started by her mother, the One Love Foundation was created to honor Yeardley and to raise awareness about the warning signs of relationship violence. "One" represented Yeardley's lacrosse number in both high school and college. The Foundation highlights the values Yeardley displayed throughout her life: kindness, dedication, humility, and sportsmanship.
Now, nine years later the One Love Foundation has its curriculum in hundreds of colleges & high schools nationally. Both the interactive website and social media platforms educate students on the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships, especially through the Escalation Workshop- a discussion based movie that allow students to become comfortable with talking about the uncomfortable topic.
TL: That's an amazing organization. How did you first get involved with One Love?
TD: We both got involved with One Love through Our Lady of Lourdes. We played in the play day for Our Lady of Lourdes from 6th-8th grade and because we were on the team we helped make posters and sell raffle tickets. We became more involved with the One Love Foundation when Ella Reaves and I were asked to join the One Love Raleigh play day planning committee in 9th grade.
TL: So you've been involved in the planning committee for four years. How has your role as part of the committee changed?
Freshman through junior year we were given the smaller responsibilities of designing t shirts and distributing raffle tickets. Now as seniors and co-chairmen of the committee, we help Mrs. Huger and Geaslen assist in assigning and teaching duties to younger members. We also spend time reaching out to prospective sponsors to help support the growth of the play day and foundation.
TL: That is a really cool experience. What is the biggest take away you've had from the experience?
I have had a couple big takeaways from being a part of the One Love committee. I think the biggest ones were learning about unhealthy relationships and also learning how to be responsible and run a large play day. Being a part of One Love I have learned about relationships and the difference between healthy and toxic ones. I have seen that it's not only in romantic relationships, but in friendships, families, peers, etc. These lessons, videos, sessions, and conversations I have been a part of have taught me so many life lessons that have allowed me to grow and witness how I should treat others and how they should treat and respect me. Also, being a part of the committee, I have been faced with difficult decisions, impending deadlines, and large responsibilities that have instilled significant problem solving and organization skills in me.
ERV: For me, the greatest takeaway from this experience is seeing how many people, whether middle school & high school students or adults, have been impacted by the One Love Foundation and play Day. There are so many levels that people can learn from- playing in the actual play day, volunteering and serving during the event, and especially discussing the topic through the Escalation Workshop we have incorporated in the Raleigh community in the past 5 years. Being a part of the committee allows us to work behind the scenes, which is really rewarding to see how much the little things impact people in our community most. As I head off to play at UVA next year, where the Foundation was started, I am honored to continue the legacy of Yeardley Love to even more people in a new environment.
TL: That's an amazing foundation of knowledge to spread in the community. How does the play day fit into the program?
The Raleigh play day has expanded in more ways than one. We have grown in numbers with the amount of teams that play, our sponsors, and the amount of money we have raised. We went from hosting the play day at Our Lady of Lourdes to Cardinal Gibbons. With access to the Gibbons fields, we have been able to add more teams and fun activities to do in between games. With the new practice turf field and stadium turf, we are able to have 4 games going at a time, maximizing our space and allowing more teams to join the play day every year. We have also raised more money due to the increase in teams and sponsors. Over the years, we have raised a total of $72,000 and this year we hope to reach a cumulative goal of $100,000.
TL: What's been the most challenging part of chairing this effort?
TD: I think the most challenging part is reaching out to sponsors and advertising. It's hard because the committee is full of high school girls, so reaching out to adults can be intimidating at time. Luckily, everyone we talk to is so generous and supports the so it's never really been a problem!
TL: So hoping to raise a further $38k? Or 100k this year?
TD: Cumulative of $100k this year so yes we are trying to raise over $38k
TL: Just wanted to make sure we had that right. How many teams are participating in this year's play day?
TD: 27 teams this year!! We started off with 4 teams for the first ever play day. Since we have been at Gibbons we have had between 20-30 teams each year.
TL: That's amazing. These are teams of what age group?
ERV: 5th-8th grade!
TL: That's awesome! Is there anything else you wanted to add about the event? Where can people go to donate?
ERV: Oh yes! We have a link that people can donate through & all proceeds go straight to the foundation: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/raleigh-play-day
TL: Great! We encourage everyone to check that out and go support an amazing foundation. Thank you, ladies, for taking time out of your busy schedules to talk with us!
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