A statue memorializing former Notre Dame Prep and Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love was unveiled July 8outside US Lacrosse national headquarters in Sparks.
The plaque on the statue reads: “In honor of Yeardley Reynolds Love who exemplified kindness throughout her life and continues to inspire us all through the work of the One Love Foundation.”
After those words, a quote from author Margaret Mead follows: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Love, 22, was killed by her ex-boyfriend George Huguely, who played on the Virginia men’s lacrosse team, on May 3, 2010.
Love started nine of 16 games in 2009 and three of 15 games in 2010 for the Cavaliers.
Since Love’s death, her mother, Sharon, and sister Lexie teamed to create the One Love Foundation. The One Love Foundation’s goal is to empower “young people with the knowledge to identify and avoid abusive relationships,” a goal that the organization has pursued since its founding in 2010.
“I am so moved by how many people have stepped up to support One Love,” Sharon Love said. “The future generation are the change-makers, and I am so proud to see them working to stop relationship abuse.”
Yeardley Love represented “the best of our sport — great athlete, great enthusiasm and model citizen,” said Steve Stenersen, president and CEO of US Lacrosse.
Stenersen can see the statue from his office and while he is proud of it and the work that has been done in Love’s memory, it serves as a painful reminder of her loss.
Her death has pushed her family and the foundation to reach out to those dealing with intra-relationship violence.
A collaboration between US Lacrosse and the One Love Foundation to commemorate the life of Love was the brainchild of Susie Chase, the former US Lacrosse Foundation vice president of philanthropy, and US Lacrosse board member Katie Hearn. Along with Stenersen, the trio collaborated with the One Love Foundation to promote the message of the organization.
A statue was commissioned and sculpted and was in storage at a site in New Jersey, but the group deliberated on where the statue should end up. US Lacrosse’s facility has been in Sparks since 2016, and with Love’s kinship to the Baltimore area and love for the game of lacrosse, Chase and Hearn decided that the statue should be on the premises.
“They just hadn’t identified the right place for it,” Stenersen said. “It was something that they had done a number of years ago and from that moment on, Susie Chase and Katie Hearn said this would be the perfect place. They immediately said this is an appropriate home to honor her memory and the work of the foundation.”
US Lacrosse’s facility sits in a community called Loveton. According to Sharon Love, Loveton is linked to her family.
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“There’s a little bit of magic associated with the opportunity for that statue and her memory to be preserved on our campus,” Stenersen said.