The State University of New York and the PGA TOUR today announced a repeat sponsorship of “SUNY’s Got Your Back” program this month at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open in Endicott and THE NORTHERN TRUST Tournament in Old Westbury.
In total, 10,000 comfort bags will be assembled containing items such as toiletries, resource pages, and personal notes to victims and survivors of violence across New York State. SUNY students will lead the program, and be joined by professional golfers as well as volunteers from the PGA TOUR Wives Association, NYS Department of Health, New York State Police, the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the state Office of Victim Services, and AmeriCorps. The events are also aimed at raising awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention efforts across the state.
“Last year the ‘SUNY’s Got Your Back’ program assembled 10,000 comfort bags – an effort we will double at two upcoming events with the PGA,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “By providing these bags, victim service organizations can use their resources in other ways to provide additional support for survivors and their families. My thanks to the volunteers and organizations, particularly the PGA TOUR, for their dedication and financial support to this program.”
“On behalf of THE NORTHERN TRUST, we are proud to sponsor SUNY’s Got Your Back program for the second year in a row,” said Peter Mele, Executive Director of THE NORTHERN TRUST. “We always feel so welcomed by the people of the New York/New Jersey Metropolitan area, and it is important that we give back to the community.”
“We are proud to be able to provide the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open as a vehicle to create awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Tournament Director John Karedes. “Being able to offer support through the assembly of the comfort bags is a true indicator of the level of caring from Broome County Community Charities and its Volunteers.”
In addition to the PGA TOUR, this year’s “SUNY’s Got Your Back Program” is being supported by the New York State Police, Staples, Field Notes, Notes Inc. USA/Dupli Envelopes and Graphics, Monster Energy, Nielson, and Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York.
New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Through advocacy and education and by working together with our community partners, the State Police CSAVU is raising awareness about sexual violence and doing important work to combat it on our college campuses. Initiatives such as this provide a direct outreach opportunity to elevate awareness, educate the public and empower individuals to help make a difference in preventing sexual assaults on our college campuses.”
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault Executive Director Joanne Zannoni said, “The ongoing support and dedication of so many organizations to this initiative is incredibly moving. Sexual assault victims often feel alone. People frequently are unsure of how to help. This project makes a difference in these scenarios while also increasing the resources rape crisis programs can offer survivors.”
New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Executive Director Connie Neal said, “The outpouring of support for the ‘SUNY’s Got Your Back’ campaign has been amazing. The collaboration between the PGA TOUR, SUNY, and partnering organizations and volunteers has significantly raised awareness of dating violence and stalking on college campuses. And equally important, through the distribution of the comfort bags thousands of survivors are receiving messages of support and empowerment at shelters and advocacy programs across New York State.”
The SUNY’s Got Your Back program is a grassroots effort led by the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association, in partnership with the state coalitions against domestic violence and sexual assault, and the New York State Police.
“We are deeply humbled by the support for SUNY’s Got Your Back from our SUNY leadership; our students, faculty, and staff; our partners at NYSCASA, NYSCADV, and the NYC Alliance; the New York State Police and our colleagues in law enforcement; and private companies such as Staples, Field Notes, Notes Inc. USA/Dupli Envelopes and Graphics, Monster Energy, Nielson, and Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York,” said SUNY Project Coordinator Joseph Storch. “With their support, and the generous and dedicated partnership of the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Wives Association, PGA TOUR Champions, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open and THE NORTHERN TRUST, we are able to take SUNY’s Got Your Back to the next level in serving those in need.”