Series of events to honor late local track athlete

Free self-defense class for women, dedication for McCluskey Cat Wing

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Series of events to honor late local track athlete

“The silence creates the opportunity for more violence to happen,” Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and director for WSU’s School of Economic Science says. “I hope that it gets us on this path for positive change.” The day-long event will kick off with a race at 9 a.m. at Mary’s Park.

“The silence creates the opportunity for more violence to happen,” Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and director for WSU’s School of Economic Science says. “I hope that it gets us on this path for positive change.” The day-long event will kick off with a race at 9 a.m. at Mary’s Park.

TIMOTHY FAIRBANKS-CLOUSER

“The silence creates the opportunity for more violence to happen,” Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and director for WSU’s School of Economic Science says. “I hope that it gets us on this path for positive change.” The day-long event will kick off with a race at 9 a.m. at Mary’s Park.

TIMOTHY FAIRBANKS-CLOUSER

TIMOTHY FAIRBANKS-CLOUSER

“The silence creates the opportunity for more violence to happen,” Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and director for WSU’s School of Economic Science says. “I hope that it gets us on this path for positive change.” The day-long event will kick off with a race at 9 a.m. at Mary’s Park.

ANGELICA RELENTE, Evergreen reporter

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Friends, family and community members inside and outside of Pullman will gather to honor late Lauren McCluskey with a series of events Saturday to support her foundation.

The event will start with a race at 9 a.m. starting and ending at Mary’s Park. The 5K course is intended for adults and a 1K fun run course will be available for children, according to the Lauren McCluskey Race for Campus Safety website.

Adults will walk or run toward downtown Pullman, take a right at the Bill Chipman Palouse Trail, then head back to Mary’s Park, according to the course map. The children’s course will begin near the start of the 5K route.

Participants can get their packets between 3 and 7 p.m. on Friday at Birch and Barley. Attendees can register on the day of but must pay in cash or check. The cost for the 5K course is $40 and $15 for the 1K fun run.

Following the race is a free self-defense and empowerment workshop at 11 a.m. in the Chinook Student Center, Room 20.

The workshop teaches women to defend themselves by using maximum impact in a minimum amount of time, said Mesa Weidle, Lauren McCluskey’s former teammate.

Weidle is also an instructor for Surviving Assault Standing Strong Go, a nonprofit group that teaches intervention training for sexual assault or interpersonal violence.

She said she recently certified as an instructor and will teach her first class at the event. The cool thing about the workshops, she said, is the fact that they are designed specifically for women.

“Some self-defense courses are designed by men for men, so this kind of encompasses the woman’s body because we’re not built like men,” Weidle said.

A dedication of the Lauren McCluskey Cat Wing will begin at 2 p.m. at the Whitman County Humane Society. The event will conclude with a fundraiser dinner at 6 p.m. at Banyans on the Ridge.

Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and director for WSU’s School of Economic Sciences, said Birch and Barley will allocate 20 percent of a customer’s bill to the Lauren McCluskey Foundation if they mention they are attending the Lauren McCluskey Race for Campus Safety event.­

A plaque and tree commemorating Lauren will also be available for people to visit at the WSU Arboretum, she said. Graduate students from the school of economic sciences, as well as the physics and astronomy department, used their own funds to contribute to the plaque and tree.

“Jill and [Matthew McCluskey] have done a lot for the campus — Jill especially has done a lot for me,” said Samantha Johnson, doctoral student at the school of economic sciences. “I really wanted to do something to show her that we support her.”

Johnson said the tree was placed in the arboretum to serve as a red beacon to remember Lauren and her legacy. They wanted to plant a red maple tree to match the one planted at the University of Utah, which also honored Lauren.

Jill said she hopes the day-long event will raise awareness for the foundation’s cause, which is campus safety, animal welfare and amateur athletics. She said she hopes to continue doing events like this each year, and perhaps even more often in a year.

“The silence creates the opportunity for more violence to happen,” Jill said. “I hope that it gets us on this path for positive change.”