Family is an important part of the YORK Athletics brand, and continuing and honoring the legacy of the people who helped build the “York” name can be found in every aspect of the company. The shoes are no different. Each model pays homage to a member of the York family, honoring them and ingraining the family story deeper into the foundational core of the company. The newest sneaker offering in the YORK Athletics portfolio, the Via All-Terrain, pays respect to Via Spaulding, the maternal grandmother of the company, who stood for the same ideals as the company - passionate, proud, independent - and was an Everyday Fighter herself.
THE WOMAN BEHIND THE SHOES
Via Spaulding was a Grecian immigrant who moved to the United States with her family at the age of four. Her parents were determined to provide the best life for their family and present them with the most opportunities they could. Throughout her life, Via was determined to make the most out of those opportunities, to continually learn, to always fight to advance, and to share as much love as she could with those around her.
EMBODYING THE YORK ATHLETIC IDEALS
Via was someone anyone that knew her could always be proud of, and she embodied many of the qualities that are at the core identity of YORK Athletics. She deeply cared for her family, lived with integrity, and was involved in her community. She was a gracious, kind, and loving person who wanted to see others succeed and help however she could. If someone close to her needed help, she was always there. Whether she was acting as an understanding ear that would listen when someone needed to talk or offering food or supplies to those in need, helping others was in her blood.
Via was always an active member of her community and was committed to giving back. She volunteered at her local hospital, participated in police appreciation efforts, and was active in Veteran advocate and support groups. Via was also a lover of the arts, especially within her community, frequently visiting her local museum and even helping to found the Opera League of New Hampshire.
VIA THE EVERYDAY FIGHTER
Growing up an immigrant, and a female, Via knew what it meant to be an everyday fighter. She was determined to succeed and appreciated the values that her parents instilled in her. She embraced learning the English language, and even became a teacher, after continuing on to higher education.
Via was never done learning or bettering herself. Along with eight of her friends, Via formed an all-women investment group known as “Cloud Nine” that met monthly to discuss investment opportunities and talk about the stock performance they would monitor through the Wall Street Journal. Some of their husbands were in an investment group, and they said “why can’t we?”, showing her spirit to thrive and level her playing field.
Throughout her life, Via always placed an emphasis on her physical and mental wellness. Growing up, she was an avid tennis player, then later in life discovered her love for golf but refused to ever take a golf cart and insisted that she would walk the entire time. Via also loved being outdoors, from gardening to exploring, she always enjoyed her time with nature.
One of Gail York’s favorite examples of her mother being an everyday fighter came in 1989, one week prior to her passing from her battle with pancreatic cancer. She had been in a local golf tournament that week, and in the newsletter that came out a few weeks after the conclusion of the tournament, there was a memorial at the top of one page expressing sympathies for her family, and right below that section were the results of the tournament where her group placed fourth overall.
“This always sticks out to me as a prime example of my mother and the type of fighter she was, she lived until the very end and always made the most of her life,” says York.