The One Love Foundation: Is This the Best Way to Raise Money for Charity?

Update: The Cavalier Daily printed an editorial in last Thursday's paper titled "Loveless," which criticized the scheduling of a bar night at Boylan Heights to raise money for the One Love Foundation, a charity established in honor of Yeardley Love. The Managing Board would like to offer a correction to the piece. Official spokespersons for One Love have indicated the organization had no knowledge of the Boylan Heights event prior to the editorial's publication and said it did not reserve the venue for Saturday. The Managing Board apologizes to the Love family and others involved in the One Love Foundation for any undeserved distress caused by the errors present in the editorial. The Managing Board also regrets that its oversight in not calling the One Love Foundation to verify what was presented as fact has distracted from what was intended to be a serious point about the problems of holding a drinking event to honor the memory of someone murdered by an abuser of alcohol.

We're not afraid of heights, but then Boylan is no place to look up to. By day the place sells plus-size hamburgers with a side of Oxfordian ketchup. If you are old enough to get in, at night you'll see the place drop the prep-school outfit to sell drinks, drinks, drinks. The bar can often feel like an unofficial night school where people take attendance; During the George Huguely murder trial, many students raised their hand and said they had been there, including Huguely.

The One Love Foundation, a charity created in Yeardley Love's memory, booked Boylan Saturday. The foundation aims to "'bring out the Yeardley' in everyone," and had a similarly poor choice of words in its email advertising this Saturday's event at Boylan, which could have used another draft. Along with the Starr Hill Love beer, a name of pure coincidence, the email promises "'Lovely shooters," which gain the foundation $4 dollars each but set it way back in other ways.

This play on words is ill-advised, but ultimately little more than tactless. While ostensibly generating money for the charity, the event first and foremost encourages the practice of hardcore drinking.

This fundraiser, moreover, was not publicized through One Love's primary channels. There is no sign of it on the foundation's website, as the "Upcoming Events" page leaps from February to April. Nor is anything official posted on the "In Memory of Yeardley Love: UVA Lacrosse Player" page on Facebook. News of the Boylan special has been restricted to listservs and online word-of-mouth, in what could be interpreted as an attempt to spread the message among college kids while keeping out sober analysis. Well -- no longer.

This isn't the first time the foundation has made headlines. It has been praised for its efforts supporting underprivileged lacrosse teams and endorsing community service. But without a sustained goal, One Love can funnel money to whatever cause it sees fit at the moment. The foundation has given out scholarships, yes, but has also chosen to erect a statue of Love and build a lacrosse field in her name at her alma mater prep school, a less-than-urgent cause, no matter how bad the turf. With this money, One Love could instead benefit organizations which assist sexual assault victims or help rebuild relationships.

While a night of drink specials at Boylan Heights raises money for the charity in Love's name, it also supports binge drinking, which seems especially inappropriate, given the circumstances. The spirit of Yeardley Love cannot be found in a mixed drink, and One Love ought to recognize this. Saturday has not yet happened, and there is still time to save the date.

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