I’m writing to extend my personal invitation to you to attend our annual Fall Gala. This year’s event will feature Elizabeth Smart, a passionate advocate against pornography, abuse, and child abduction because of a heartbreaking personal experience. When Elizabeth was 14 years old she fell asleep next to her younger sister. She was abducted from her own bed in the middle of the night, with a knife to her neck. Her abduction and subsequent abuses lasted for 9 months while her family and community raced to find and save her.
Elizabeth’s traumatizing story of abuse, degradation, and the struggle to survive resonates with the life-tales of our clients. Fortunately, Elizabeth is still with us today. She was rescued and has since overcome her afflictions to be an advocate for justice. I invite you to attend our Fall Gala, where she will be honored as our guest speaker. It is with a heavy heart that I admit it will be a gut-wrenching story, as is our daily work across the shelters, but we can celebrate together in the great rescue and recovery that we have been so blessed to witness. Come, celebrate with Elizabeth, Refuge for Women, and our residents over what God has done to deliver former victims of sexual trafficking and exploitation. Please be sure to invite friends and reserve your seats, we look forward to seeing you there.
Founder and President
Friday, October 6, 2017
Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa
1800 Newtown Pike Lexington, KY, 40511 United States
Mark your calendar! Tickets go on sale for our Fall Gala with Elizabeth Smart on Monday morning, August 7, at 9:00 am!
We have a limited number of seats for this event and you will not want to wait to order! Early Bird pricing will be available. Stay tuned for further details!
Featuring Elizabeth Smart
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months.
Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction.
The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.
Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, "My Story." In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivor's guide, entitled, “You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.
Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "every day" people and the belief that hope always exist to find every missing child.
Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012.