“Protect the Children Gala” was a moving event

Protect the Children Gala
AWARDEES AT PROTECT THE CHIDREN GALA WITH PRESIDENT LAVEERN DEER, RIGHT. Photo by David I Muir

With 130 guests in attendance, this year’s Female Development World Organization (FDWO) “Protect the Children” gala in aid of Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Prevention, was held on Thursday, June 28, at the brand-new Crystal Ballroom located at The Venue Fort Lauderdale.  

According to Lavern Deer, president of FDWO “It was a huge success not by the quantity of attendance, but by the quality of the  messages which were so impactful, leaving some guests in tears. I am very pleased by the number of pledges to help move this agenda forward. I thank all our host committee, sponsors, donors and volunteers.” 

 Entertainment was provided the legendary Betty Wright and her group, The MOST including 10-year-old artist Tyler Watts who shifted the entire atmosphere with his singing. It was powerful! 

This annual fundraising event seeks to bring awareness to the growing issues of Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Prevention in local, and international communities. 

The evening began with a presentation called Lighting the Way as the audience participated in a candle light vigil for survivors of human trafficking. 

Extremely inspiring story

The story of Nadia Weiss was extremely inspiring. She is a survivor of human trafficking-captured for 17years beginning at the age of 11years old.  She informed the audience of the lack of resources and the struggle for Mental Health to those who escape the slavery of human trafficking. 

Special guest speaker Tragil Wade, Founder of America’s Big Sister shared her impactful testimony as she is also a survivor. 

Florida Representative Sean Shaw a candidate for Florida Attorney General solidified the night by holding up the pledge card that was placed on the tables.  He pledged that when he gets into office that he will take the necessary measure to assure that viable resources are made available for survivors of human trafficking, and for advocacy. 

The mission and greatest message for the entire night was for people to support the advocacy of human trafficking. There is lack of resources to do the work and educate communities. Those who were among the honorees fought hard for the advocacy of children, something that is well needed.

This year’s awardees

Maria Sachs-(Founder of Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition) received the Lifetime Achievement AwardRoger DeHart– Protect the Children Award, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Bendigal –FDWO Humanitarian Award, and Senator Daphne Campbell –FDWO International Leadership AwardMC Calvin Hughes, News Anchor, Local 10 News, FDWO-FPL Light The Way Scholarship presented to DrewAnn Fearon

Even though human trafficking is a 150-billion-dollar industry there is a lack of resources and support for those who make it out alive. FDWO is currently looking for sponsors and supporters to financially contribute of the organization.

Potential sponsors and supporters can assist by visiting  www.fdwo.org or contacting (754) 715-3206.

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