Run For Courage participants celebrate at the start of last year's race. Courtesy photo

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Run For Courage this Saturday

By From page A1 | September 26, 2012

Thousands expected to stand up against modern day slavery

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, Run For Courage will host its third annual Race to End Human Trafficking. Together on the field with more than 40 retail vendors, other anti-trafficking organizations and six survivors of trafficking, the Run For Courage team hopes to increase awareness of this rapidly growing crime.

The all-volunteer organization has raised more than $150,000 to benefit programs that restore victims of sex trafficking. Run For Courage has built strong relationships with these organizations through its collaborative monitoring process and expects these relationships to continue to broaden and deepen.

“It has been a privilege to see what these many programs are doing to help victims heal,” said Vicki Zito, director of beneficiary programs. “We are humbled by their commitment to restoring these precious girls. As we grow, we hope to provide even greater support to the community that serves these trafficking survivors.”

This year Run For Courage has also spent time at local high schools educating youth on trafficking and creating an awareness event first modeled at Oak Ridge High School by Senior, and Run For Courage’s director of volunteers, Kelsey Nager.

“I remember being a volunteer at the first Run For Courage race and thinking I can’t believe that someone my age is being trafficked,” said Nager, whose vision has helped Run For Courage launch awareness events at other campuses.

This year the team is thrilled about the addition of the Wall of Daughters. Each runner in the 2012 race will be encouraged to participate in the wall.

“We wanted runners and walkers alike to really visualize for whom we run and walk,” said Ashlie Bryant, Run For Courage executive director. “So, this year we are honoring victims, survivors and those we want to prevent from being victimized on a 20 foot wall. Our Wall of Daughters will be a wonderful tribute as it becomes filled with names of precious ones we love.”

This year Run For Courage hopes to keep the runners focused on why they are running. In addition to the Wall of Daughters, there will also be six survivors who will join the race. They will be honored before the race begins and recognized by their white survivor shirts.

Check out the website, register today and be part of this social justice movement: runforcourage.org.

Special to Village Life

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