It was a dark and stormy morning. This didn’t surprise us. It rains more often than not on Blue Breakfast, our annual spring fundraiser. What did surprise us, which really shouldn’t, is how many incredible people we are fortunate enough to call supporters and friends. We’re still working on the total dollars raised, but the total love you showed us is off the charts – Thank you, Team Coburn!
Rafael Sanchez from RTV6 reprised his role as emcee and brought even more energy than ever! From his LED light up shoes to his epic selfies and impassioned pleas, he was born to play this role. Rafael and Braden, the official, self-proclaimed Coburn Place mascot and Executive Director Julia’s son, pumped up the crowd early.
— Rafael Sánchez (@RafaelOnTV) March 1, 2017
Violet, our Coburn Place graduate speaker, was as poised as she was inspirational. She told the audience of 400 that the tears she would be crying, would be “tears of joy”. She began by saying, “Domestic violence can happen to anyone. I didn’t decide to marry an abusive man. It happened gradually over the years.” She shared some of the horrific, physical violence she endured and the resulting injuries and PTSD.
Violet recounted some pivotal moments. “Through the individual therapy once a week and the group therapy twice a week, I began to be able to look people in the eye. During one of our group therapy sessions, we were asked, ‘Who are you – outside of being a mother, outside of your job or your church – who are you?’ I really didn’t know at that point“, she said.
“That’s when my journey to wholeness really began. “
She continued, “The exercises done in each therapy session was a critical element in my living – not just existing, as well as returning to society healthy and whole. After months of soul searching, meditation and prayer, we were asked at another group session to find a word that described who we are now. I chose the word ‘irrepressible’, which means impossible to repress, restrain or control.”
With the help of therapy; support groups; her Advocate, Jacqueline; and many services she participated in both on-site and with partner agencies; she was able put her life back together. Today, she is studying to become a paralegal. She is a Bowen Scholar, a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success Honor Society, and on Dean’s List, with a 3.5 GPA.
Thanks to you and Coburn Place, she is “truly living today”. Read her entire speech.
Rafael lead the crowd in a chant of “We have your back” after Julia and board member, Molly Martin of Lumina Foundation, explained what’s at stake for Coburn Place if Violence Against Women (VAWA) funds are cut by the Trump Administration. Read more about the possibility of funding cuts.
Marlin Jackson, former Indianapolis Colts defensive back, shared his own story of growing up in a dysfunctional family with drugs, alcohol and abuse. He told about the generational cycle of violence and poverty he experienced. “When people try to lock that inside of them, battered women, battered men, they lose a piece of themselves. And when they’re parents, it shows up in no parental guidance. When we talk about the root causes of crime and the things that happen in the street, it starts at home,” he said.
Through football and with the help of concerned adults, he was able to break that cycle. And he works to help others through his Fight For Life Foundation. “Every mother, every child deserves to develop a voice. They just need help realizing that they have a choice. There’s hope because of Coburn Place.” Read an excellent recap from our friend Heather from Colts Roundup.
The guest speaker at the #BlueBreakfast to benefit @coburnplace, football gave former @Colts cornerback Marlin Jackson a choice and a voice. Now, he’s using it to help others find their voice through @fight4lifefound. “When we talk about the root causes of crime and the things that happen in the street, it starts at home.” READ more on @coltsroundup. #ClickTheLink
— Simone Murray (@simmosi) March 1, 2017
After the crowd met our donation goal, the Colts Cheerleaders taught their signature move to Rafael, Marlin and Braden, who were such good sports. Hilarity ensued.
— Meredith (@mcarbrey) March 1, 2017
Thank you, friends! And, yes, let’s do this again.
— Cheryl Reed (@cherylbreed) March 1, 2017
How cool is this?! Thanks to our dear friend, Melanie Allen, for handling Twitter for us. She got the Tweetstorm started and kept it rolling all morning! Thanks also to Amy Pauszek for the great photos you see in the image at the top.
— Trendsmap Indy (@TrendsIndy) March 1, 2017