The annual kickoff celebration to help commemorate the start of the Ravens' season is an exciting time for the Baltimore community. It is also an opportune time to create awareness for the many great causes and organizations dedicated to making a difference. This year, Ravens fans were encouraged to participate in numerous festivities leading up to the team's season opener at Denver, including the Ravens 5K and Kids Fun Run.
Just over 2,000 people participated in this year's race, which took runners through the city, around M&T Bank Stadium and set them up for the ultimate finish on the stadium's 50-yard line. The excitement was palpable as racers watched themselves cross the finish line on the RavensVision boards.
Some of those finishers included representatives from the House of Ruth Maryland and the One Love Foundation, two organizations which the Ravens have developed partnerships with in an effort to provide awareness and support for victims of domestic violence.
Established in 2010, One Love Foundation was created to honor the memory of Baltimore-native Yeardley Love, and works with students to educate, empower and activate campus communities in a movement to end relationship violence. The Ravens also joined forces with One Love to distribute "Escalation," a film-based workshop curriculum which inspires and empowers Maryland high school and college students to help lead a nationwide effort against relationship violence.
"The 5K event hosted by the Ravens was an exciting and unique way for us to meet members of the Baltimore community who have supported One Love's efforts since Day One," explained Seanna Bruno, partnerships managing director for One Love.
Along with Bruno, Yeardley's mother, Sharon Love, was also on-hand to speak with participants and help spread One Love's message.
"We are so grateful for the Ravens' support in helping us educate their fans about One Love's commitment to end relationship violence," Bruno said. "Our success has been fueled by the Ravens, and we could not ask for a better partner."* *
House of Ruth Maryland is an intimate partner violence center which helps thousands of battered women and children find safety and security. Through a donation over each of the next three years, the Ravens will assist House of Ruth Maryland in raising awareness and education on how to recognize the signs of abuse. The team continues to participate in educational events and programs, including the annual Man Up! Event, which is held in November.
"We were very excited to be a part of the 5K with the Ravens," said Sandi Timmins, executive director for House of Ruth Maryland. "This event is just another piece of our community partnership with the team, and it's a great way for fans to support the House of Ruth Maryland and for the Ravens to help us reach the community with information that helps victims of intimate partner violence."