This week I have felt more proud than ever to be from Boston.
Just a few days ago, Robert Kraft and the New England Patriot’s Foundation announced that they are donating $500,000 (with a promise of up to $1.5M) solely dedicated to help fight teenage dating violence. Maybe this was driven by what is happening in the NFL, maybe it was motivated by all the bad press with “Deflategate”, or maybe it was to support his deceased wife’s passion. However, Robert Kraft’s gift will impact one of the foundations so close to my heart, the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Foundation.
Lauren Astley, the daughter of one of my dearest friends Mary Dunne, was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend on the evening of July 3, 2011. I watched Lauren grow up with my two daughters and the tragedy shook everyone’s world. She was a beautiful girl with so much ahead of her. It was the summer before she was heading off to Elon University to start a new chapter in her life.
Teenage dating violence is not a common cause, so many don’t understand how rampant and severe the problem is and so many victims are suffering helplessly feeling like they have nowhere to turn for help.
Organizations like the LDA Memorial Fund can change the lives of so many teenagers by educating them about the warning signs and helping them find solutions and empowerment so that we never see another tragedy like this one. Abuse includes emotional bullying and control. This is a topic that has grown to critical mass. We must stop this kind of violence.
We are so very thankful for such a generous donation from our favorite team. I am deeply moved by this act of love and support by Robert Kraft, and I am so grateful for all those who have embraced this mission in Boston and have supported the foundation thus far. How far could we go if we had the support of every football team out there?
For more information on teen dating violence and the Lauren Dunne Astley Foundation, please visit http://laurendunneastleymemorialfund.org