Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ceremony scheduled to rededicate new memorial stone that recognizes victims of domestic violence

A rededication ceremony for a new memorial stone that recognizes local victims of domestic violence will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the area between Bennett Hall and Stevenson Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

Doug Hayburn, the owner of Southern Ohio Monument Company in Chillicothe, has donated the memorial stone, which continues the memory of area individuals whose lives have been cut short by domestic violence. The new stone, made of jet black granite, includes the names of 19 Ross County residents who have lost their lives to domestic violence since 1986. It replaces the former memorial stone, which included the names of a dozen victims who died between 1986 and 1996.

“When we were approached about creating the stone, we decided we could make the product and donate it. That way, they can use the money that would have been spent on the memorial for other projects connected with this cause,” Hayburn said.

Members of the campus and local community will speak at the Oct. 22 event. Chillicothe Mayor Jack Everson will issue a proclamation, and there will be representation by the Ross County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the OU-C FOCUS Program, which are sponsors of the memorial stone. The OU-C FOCUS program, which ended in the 1990s, created the original stone. The program consisted of campus members and had an emphasis on helping single mothers with children finish college.

There will also be a silent auction from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 in OU-C’s Bennett Hall room 105 to raise funds for the Ross County Coalition against Domestic Violence. Last year efforts raised more than $2,000 including a raffle for a quilt made by the Sew N Sews club.  All of the funds went to support the coalition's shelter and related programs.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The memorial stone was moved from its previous location, closer to Stevenson Center, to its current, more prominent location near the walkway leading to the building, after OU-C faculty members noticed the stone but were unaware of its origin. Research determined it was created by the OU-C FOCUS Program, which began the current effort. A similar ceremony was held in October 2013 to dedicate the new location, with plans for this new stone and additional names.

“This has been a true campus-community partnership with a common cause to address a situation that affects far too many individuals including our own students,” OU-C Associate Dean Brenda Phillips said. “Domestic violence happens in any community, and education is an important way to combat it. The Chillicothe Campus is focused on improving the lives of area residents, and this endeavor aligns with that mission. As we have said before, the only way to effectively combat domestic violence is for influential organizations to stand together against the violence.”

Those wishing more information about the upcoming events or who wish to donate to the silent auction and/or memorial fund, should contact Phillips at (740) 774-7207 or

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