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LSU Law Barristers’ Bowl raises $16K for the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center in Baton Rouge

Barristers’ Bowl Gold Team Captain Christopher Melancon (from left to right), Professor Darlene Goring, STAR Managing Attorney Airzola Cleaves, STAR Staff Attorney Becca Wheelis, Cheer Captain Hannah Wilson, and Purple Team Captain Rory Luke.

The annual Barristers’ Bowl game and cheerleading performance by LSU Law students returned from a three-year hiatus on March 4, with the Purple Team besting the Gold Team 36-0 in the full-tackle football game and the charity auction raising $16,000 for the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center (STAR) in Baton Rouge.

On Tuesday, May 10, LSU Law 3L and Purple Team Captain Rory Luke, along with 3L and Gold Team Captain Christopher Melancon, 3L and Cheer Captain Hannah Wilson, and Professor Darlene Goring, presented a $16,000 check to STAR Staff Attorney Becca Wheelis and Managing Attorney Airzola Cleaves on the steps of the old Law Center.

“We are just happy that we got to participate in one Barristers’ Bowl and bring back this great law school tradition, and raise money for a great organization like STAR,” said Luke. “I am proud and thankful for everyone that helped out with this event, especially Cheer Captain Hannah Wilson, Gold Team Captain Chris Melancon, and Professor (Darlene) Goring, our faculty sponsor. Without these people and the hundreds of other participants and donors, this event would not have been possible. I hope the Barrtisters’ Bowl will continue to be a great success and provide not only an awesome and unique law school experience but also continue the tradition of serving our community.”

The first Barristers’ Bowl took place in 2005 after LSU Law student Jason Durden proposed the idea of uniting his law school colleagues in a charity football game to raise money and provide relief for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The game quickly became a beloved tradition. Since its inception, the Barristers’ Bowl has provided law students with some of their favorite law school memories while raising thousands of dollars for charities such as Geaux Teal, the American Cancer Society, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Desire Street Ministries.

STAR is a nonprofit organization that provides confidential advocacy, counseling, and legal services to individuals and families affected by sexual trauma at no cost. STAR also provides services to the community in the form of outreach, education, and training to help end sexual violence, as well as training and technical assistance services to offer support to businesses, organizations, and institutions in creating safer environments.

STAR was chosen to be the recipient of this year’s Barristers’ Bowl proceeds because of the important work and advocacy services they provide to victims of sexual assault and trauma. The services provided by STAR are crucial in the Baton Rouge community. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Barristers’ Bowl chose STAR as the beneficiary of the proceeds. Luke said that after the cancellation of the 2020 Barristers’ Bowl due to the pandemic—and the subsequent cancellation of the 2021 game for the same reason—Luke said LSU Law students felt it was only right to uphold their promise to STAR and pledge the Barristers’ Bowl proceeds to the organization.