Powder Puff Football between Woodgrove and Loudoun Valley Raises $1,191
March 1, 2015 – Purcellville, VA – When most people think of high school powder puff football games, they think of high school girls wearing war paint on their faces, sporting their school colors, and participating in fun rally chants on the sidelines – all in good friendly, comradery leading up to Homecoming celebrations. However, on November 5, 2014, the young ladies from Woodgrove High School and Loudoun Valley High School changed the game. They wanted this opportunity to count by helping a nonprofit that addresses an issue that hits home for many people – mental illness.
Several Woodgrove High School students approached Stephanie Butler, Powder Puff Coordinator at Woodgrove, about using the Powder Puff football game as a tool to raise awareness and funds for mental health issues. After brief conversations with William Shipp, Principal, Woodgrove High School, and Sue Ross, Principal, Loudoun Valley High School, and Jamie Phillips, Powder Puff Coordinator, Loudoun Valley High School, everyone was on board to support a great cause and to begin a new tradition.
Stephanie Butler stated, “I’ve been organizing Powder Puff football games in Loudoun County for over 16 years, and I brought this tradition with me to Woodgrove High School. This is the first group of girls that have approached me about wanting to make their mark. So, it brought tears of pride to my eyes when these girls approached me about wanting to change up the Powder Puff experience to benefit something bigger than school spirit.”
It was Woodgrove seniors Grace Hayba, Kara Nordgren, Jocelyn Lathono-Gordon, and Ashley Morris that led the promotion for this effort. They helped organize the event, designed and distributed flyers, ensured that students from both schools were on board and were excited to support this cause. The kicker though is that these young ladies made this event a huge success in just eight days!
Like any other Powder Puff game, there was plenty of excitement, school spirit, tension, and suspense. This game was no different. Loudoun Valley led the contest 20-0 at halftime, but Woodgrove would not let that lead deter them. As the game clock ran out, and, the contest between the two sister schools was decided by only two points, in Woodgrove’s favor, it wasn’t only about which school won the game and who had bragging rights for the next year, but it was about the comradery and a united community that truly won the night.
In a final tally, both teams had raised a total of $1,191 for Friends of Loudoun Mental Health. There may have been one game winner, but there were two winners that night. And, the young ladies of Woodgrove High School and Loudoun Valley High School demonstrated what truly happens when a community rallies together to tackle issues that matter most.
For additional information on Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, please visit www.loudounfriends.org.
Friends of Loudoun Mental Health – Serving Loudoun County citizens since 1955, Friends of Loudoun Mental Health continues to provide support and services to mental health consumers living in Loudoun County. Their initial effort was as an advisory board responsible for bringing the first mental health services to Loudoun County and for providing specialized equipment and supplies to the earlier Loudoun County mental health centers on King Street in Leesburg and later on South Street in Leesburg. Loudoun Friends’ roles as advocates, educators, and service providers expanded in the late 1980’s with the introduction of its representative payee program which continues to serve mental health consumers receiving SSI. In 1993, Loudoun Friends broadened its efforts to better address evolving needs of Loudoun citizens living with chronic mental illnesses that were not being covered by federal/state/local funding. A proactive public/private partnership was formed between Loudoun Friends and Supported Living Services (Loudoun County Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services) to address issues of homelessness among Loudoun County citizens living with chronic mental illnesses. This partnership and other successful collaborative initiatives thrive today as demonstrated through Loudoun Friends’ direct services and community focused programs.