Bowling holds sexual assault & domestic violence awareness fundraiser during Lions Classic


Photo by James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

Serenity Quintero high-fives her teammates during competition on Saturday at Plaza Lanes.

The Lindenwood men’s and women’s bowling team hosted a fundraiser during their 11th Annual Lions Classic tournament over the weekend.

On Monday, Sept. 26, Brenda Tracy came to Lindenwood to give student-athletes, both from Student Life Sports and NCAA teams, a presentation about domestic violence and sexual assault. Over 1,000 student-athletes attended the presentation at the J. Scheidegger Center.

Tracy told the student-athletes her story as a gang-rape survivor in great detail.  To raise awareness against sexual assault and domestic violence, Tracy founded the #SetTheExpectation movement. Many sports programs across the country, including Big Ten schools, have invited Tracy to share her story.

Moved by Tracy’s story, junior Erika Damerow decided to join the movement and incorporate it to the entire bowling team.

“As soon as she started telling her story, I thought she was incredibly brave to get on stage in front of a thousand strangers and be that vulnerable to tell us every detail she remembered from her attack,” Damerow said.

The day after the presentation, Damerow showed up to practice with printed pledges for both the men’s and women’s team to sign. After that, the head coach, Phil Vida, started plans to add a fundraiser to the Lions Classic tournament to help the Bridgeway Women’s Shelter.

“I knew we were about to create something awesome,” Damerow said. “And we would be the first bowling team to ever join the campaign, so that made it even more exciting.”

From left, Callie Watson and Courtney Scholl bowl on Plaza Lanes during baker games on Saturday, Oct. 26th.
Photo by James Tananan.

The women’s team wore teal skorts and purple hair ties, the colors for sexual assault and domestic violence awareness. At Plaza Lanes, the women’s team sold wristbands and ribbons for Bridgeway. With the help of Lindenwood Athletics, the Lions Classic also became part of the Lions Support Lions events, and other student-athletes came to cheer on the team.

“I could not be more proud of the effort put forth to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence and fundraise for local shelter Bridgeway,” Vida said. “My hope is that we started a narrative that our whole campus can rally around to make a difference.”

On the women’s side, during competition on Saturday, the Lions went undefeated for all of their matches against eight other schools to be the No. 1 seed. Going into Sunday, the Lions defeated Barton Community College in the elimination rounds, moving on to face the McKendree Bearcats who eventually eliminated the Lions 2-0 for third place.

Junior Margie Gish and freshman Renata Martínez made the All-Tournament team, finishing second and third respectively. On Saturday, Valeria Aguirre, Merlina San Nicolás, Callie Watson and Emily Benn got recognized for their last ever home tournament as they are graduating next May.

On the men’s side, the Lions were the No. 3 seed going into match play. The Lions reached the finals against Midland and lost the first two games, but bounced back on game three to remain alive, forcing a fourth game. In the deciding game, the Lions could not string strikes and had to settle to a 210-165 loss for a second place.

Senior Ian Draughon led the Lions for a third place and earned a spot on the All-Tournament team. Logan Kemp tied for fourth and grabbed an All-Tournament team spot as well.

The Lions will head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for their fourth tournament of the season, the Five Season Classic, on Friday.