For immediate release
Memorial Award Established at Kwantlen for Victim of Domestic Violence
METRO VANCOUVER, BC – (May 31, 2011) – Maria Catroppa was born in a small town in Italy and married the love of her life at the age of 18. Maria and her husband moved to Canada in 1959 to start a family and pursue the Canadian dream. Maria's world was turned upside down in October of 1973 when her beloved husband, her children's father, was killed in a hunting accident.
After the death and against all odds, Maria worked hard to keep the family together and a roof over the heads of her four children. She always put her children first and refused to remarry until her children were grown. That happened in 1999 when she married the man who would, ten years later, murder her on November 24, 2009. Maria's children learned that her story is eerily similar to many stories of spousal abuse.
"These stories must stop," commented Dr. Innocenza Tuason, Maria's daughter. "Decreasing the prevalence of violence against women requires challenging its acceptance; and to decrease the incidence of such violence, we must make awareness and prevention a priority."
Awareness and prevention of domestic violence can be achieved in several ways, one of which includes increased access to education. Maria believed that education was the key to a better life. In honour of their mother and 'nana', Maria's family has chosen to help one woman at a time further her education.
The family has created the Maria Catroppa Memorial Award at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, to help single mothers, who may not otherwise be able, to further their education.
"What better way to honour her memory and to help women in need than to create an award in her name?" stated Giuseppina Osterman, Maria's daughter.
The Kwantlen Foundation was established in 2000 and raises funds in support of the University's students, projects and programs.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs including business, liberal arts and science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 17,000 students annually have a choice from over 135 programs including bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.
For more information about the endowment fund and/or Kwantlen Foundation, contact:
Chief Advancement Officer
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Director, Marketing and Communications