In 2012, Lights on the Lawn was created to support a Vanderbilt student who suffered a severe spinal cord injury. His injuries required specialized rehabilitation equipment. At the time, this equipment was not found anywhere in Tennessee, which prevented his return to Vanderbilt. In that first year, we partnered with the Christopher Reeve Foundation, raising $96K allowing the purchase of the Locomotor Training Machine for the Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.
The following year, after the rape of a Vanderbilt freshman on campus, and building on the success of Lights on the Lawn, we decided to make the concert an annual event, to support survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. After careful consideration, we selected a new official partner, The Mary Parrish Center, a partnership that has continued excellently to this day.
The Mary Parrish Center, since its opening in 2002, has provided a full array of no-cost, comprehensive services to over 7,000 survivors. In 2009, the center dedicated its focus to providing transitional housing for women and families in need. Today, in addition to safe, individual homes, the center provides a wide range of flexible and optional support services including clinical therapy, career development, financial assistance, housing advocacy, enrichment activities, and case management. All of these services go towards the one goal of promoting autonomy to support an independent life from the survivor's abusers. Today, more then 124 woman can give thanks to The Mary Parrish Center for helping them achieve this goal.
With the support of the student body, Vanderbilt University, and community-focused sponsors, we have raised over $457K. Sponsors have contributed to nearly 30% of our proceeds over the last five years, and have transformed Lights on the Lawn from a one-off student concert into a community-wide annual event.