Beaver Stadium will be a sea of blue Saturday as fans come out to support football and those affected by sexual abuse.
This weekend’s game will be the second annual Blue Out. Fans are encouraged to wear blue — the color associated with child abuse prevention — to the game to support the cause.
The official Blue Out T-shirt is on sale for $15 at the Penn State Bookstore, The Family Clothesline, Lion’s Pride and Neebo PSU/Got Used Bookstore.
All proceeds from the T-shirt sales will be donated to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
Donations will also be collected at the game outside the stadium to benefit PCAR.
Last year, the collection at the game raised $22,000 according to PCAR Vice President of Communications and Development Kristen Houser.
“We had worked with [the students involved] last year and provided them with materials to distribute,” Houser said. “We support rape crisis centers that are doing prevention and victim services across Pennsylvania.”
Houser said while most people do not go to football games as a venue to learn about sexual abuse, having the materials there and getting the word out will be important.
“When you’re going to have a stadium with over 100,000 people in it, and when one-in-five people have been impacted by sexual abuse, there’s a lot of people in there who have been affected by it,” Houser said.
The first Blue Out game was organized by Penn State students Stuart Shapiro (graduate-MBA) and Laura March (graduate-art education and instructional systems) for the football game just six days after news broke of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
“It’s a moment of grassroots activism helping out this important cause,” March said.
March said the idea was inspired by a desire to help those affected by sexual abuse, as well as a combination of the NFL wearing pink ribbons for breast cancer and the traditional Penn State White Out game each year.
“We don’t want to lose the focus of child abuse prevention,” Shapiro said.
Students and Penn State community members are encouraged to use the hashtag “#onepromise” on Twitter in order to share “how we as individuals can make our world a better place for all of us,” Shapiro said.
One Heart, a student group founded last year that is dedicated to child abuse prevention causes on campus, is transitioning to take over organizing the Blue Out event so that it can be maintained as a tradition in the future, Stuart said.
“It’s really an opportunity for Penn State fans to show that you can both support the team, support the institution and support victims and survivors of child sexual abuse,” Houser said. “It’s a really important event right now for the Penn State community.”