Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dallas Women's Foundation Raises Over $1 Million at Annual Luncheon

Just one week ago, a sell-out crowd of more than 1,500 people – community members, business leaders, elected officials, nonprofit leaders, advocates and philanthropists – filled the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole for Dallas Women’s Foundation’s 28th Annual Luncheon. Thanks to the amazing ‘dream team’ – Luncheon Chairs Lauren Embrey, Sarah Losinger and Lynn McBee, and Honorary Chair Caren Prothro – more than $1 million was raised to support Dallas Women’s Foundation’s efforts to create positive social and economic change for women and girls.

Lara Gaither, Jenny Callies, Kimberly Westphall
Photo by Kristina Bowman

The organizations is grateful to the generous partners for committing their resources and influence to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking:
Presenting sponsor: U.S. Trust
Speaker Partners: Ruthie’s Rolling Café, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Heather L. Hunt
Crystal Partners: AT&T, Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Hunt Consolidated, Inc., Texas Instruments
Diamond Partners: Kimberly-Clark, Caren and Vin Prothro Foundation
Media Partner: KERA.
Ashlee Kleinert (Dallas Women's Foundation Board Chair), Roslyn Dawson Thompson (Dallas Women's Foundation President & CEO), Caren Prothro (Luncheon Honorary Chair)
Photo by Kristina Bowman
UN Ambassador, Academy Award® and Golden Globe® winner Mira Sorvino passionately detailed her work with the United Nations and her personal encounters with trafficking victims around the world, some as young as age four. With deep emotion, Mira said, “When you look in their eyes and see their pain, it changes you, and you cannot walk away unaffected.” 
Kalita Blessing (Power of the Purse Award Honoree), Mira Sorvino (Speaker & UN Goodwill Ambassador on Human Trafficking), Ed Blessing
Photo by Lisa Stewart
Mira also shared some startling statistics about human trafficking in the United States:
-100,000 American children are exploited in the commercial sex industry annually
-The average age a child is first exploited is 13
-70% of victims have experienced physical or sexual abuse in their home
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Amy Vanderoef, Jane Hurst, Heather Hays
Photo by Kristina Bowman
Human trafficking is a significant issue in Texas – 25% of all those trafficked for sex or labor come through the state. We can all be proud that Texas has passed nine new laws to protect victims, help survivors and prosecute traffickers during the last two legislative sessions. The Polaris Project ranks Texas as a tier one state for anti-trafficking legislation, however, our state still has the second highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.  
Bonnie Rainey, Wendy Messman
Photo by Kristina Bowman
Dallas Women’s Foundation is committed to being a leader in the efforts to end human trafficking and needs your support and involvement. We urge you to take an active role now:
-->Program the National Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone – 1-888-373-7888 – and report suspicious situations or circumstances.
-->Text the word HELP to BeFree (233733) if you suspect any form of human slavery or trafficking.
-->Go to Slaveryfootprint.org and take the online survey to determine your “slavery footprint”.
-->Mark January 11 – National Human Trafficking Day – on your calendar and participate in calls to action that day
-->Stay involved with Dallas Women’s Foundation. Donate, attend an event, volunteer or simply follow on Facebook, or Twitter.

Together, we will make the change we seek in our world - to end modern day slavery, to ensure women's economic stability and to open the paths to opportunity - because Strong Women make a Better World.

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