Champlain College, HOPE Works to Collaborate on Afterschool Programs With Support From Laura Kate Winterbottom Memorial Foundation

Champlain’s BREAKAWAY video game to help break cycle of violence against women

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center (EMC) and HOPE Works will collaborate to bring an online video game designed to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women to afterschool programs in Burlington and around Chittenden County later this year.

Funding for the new partnership program will come from the Laura Kate Winterbottom Memorial Foundation and funds raised at “Laura’s March 2015,” a 5K run/walk on Sept. 12 at Oakledge Park and the Burlington Bike Path.

The Laura Kate Winterbottom (LKW) Memorial Fund is a non-profit 501(c)3 foundation established in 2005 by the family and friends of the 31-year-old woman  after her abduction, rape, and murder on March 8 of that same year.

While working as a graphic designer at Champlain College and teaching art to children through Young Rembrandts, an after-school program, Winterbottom devoted her free time to volunteering at Burlington City Arts’ Art from the Heart (an art program for pediatric patients at Vermont Children’s Hospital), ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, the Flynn Theater, HomeShare Vermont, the Humane Society of Chittenden County, and KidSafe Collaborative.

After Laura's untimely death, her mother and father, JoAnn and Ned, and her sister Leigh and brother Aran, established the LKW Fund so that Laura's legacy would live on within the community she so loved. The LKW Fund has donated nearly $100,000 to more than 40 different Chittenden County and Vermont-based organizations to help victims of rape and violence.

HOPE Works, which has been working to prevent sexual violence since 1973, and the Champlain College Emergent Media Center’s educational online game, BREAKAWAY, which has been used internationally to help break the cycle of violence against women and girls, will be made available to afterschool programs at youth sites like the YMCA, King Street Center, Milton Teen Center and Winooski  with facilitators to help change attitudes and behaviors in children and young adults.

Since the online debut of the game in June 2010, BREAKAWAY has reached youth in more than 180 countries. According to Ann DeMarle, director of the EMC at Champlain College, the online game, developed by more than 110 Champlain College students and Population Media Center with funding from the United Nations,  has been shown to change the attitudes and behavior of youth in a study conducted in Sonsonate, El Salvador. Read more about it:

Champlain College continues to put this important issue at the forefront. While continuing to support BREAKAWAY, the EMC is now producing a second game to address sexual harassment for college students, which will be completed this year.  Additionally, assistant professor Duane Dunston has built a mobile app, called “You Have a Voice,” that helps responders communicate with human trafficking victims.

“As a former colleague of Laura’s, I am grateful that we will be working alongside LKW and HOPE Works to address violence in Vermont. We are encouraging staff, faculty, and students at Champlain College who want to make a difference and help end sexual violence in our community to participate in Laura’s March.” DeMarle added.

Although there is no entry fee, Laura’s March is a fundraiser and "Marchers" are encouraged to raise money through FirstGiving by securing pledges from family, friends and co-workers. A donation in lieu of raising funds is also greatly appreciated. Learn more about the event at

Other recipients of the 2015 Laura’s March will be The University of Vermont’s Medical Center’s Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program and the Pride Center of Vermont. A portion of the funds raised also goes toward growing and sustaining the LKW Fund.

Learn more about the Laura Kate Winterbottom Foundation at

About Champlain College: 

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 379 Colleges: 2015 Edition. Champlain was named a "Top-Up-and-Coming School" by U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges and is ranked in the top tier of 2014 Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit