UINTAH — To people of faith who appreciate the sanctity of women, there are few realities more disheartening than the sex trafficking industry.
Next month, members of Crossroads Christian Fellowship Church are inviting the community to help them do something about this sad reality.
The church is hosting a fun-filled day for women and girls that will also raise money to help fight sex trafficking.
The event is a community fashion show, silent auction and conference to be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 16 at the church, 6545 Combe Road, Uintah.
Registration and a breakfast of pastries will begin at 8 a.m.
“The event will be about celebrating being a woman and a girl,” said Chrystal Zidon, who is directing the fashion show for the event. “It will be fun.”
Those wishing to attend are encouraged to purchase a $10 ticket now. Only a limited number of tickets are available.
The Rev. Jackie Ostler said all funds earned will go toward the cause for which the event was created.
“People as a whole want to get involved and help,” Zidon said. “A problem like this seems so big and overwhelming. When you give people an avenue, that they can come and enjoy themselves, then they feel like they’ve done something.”
Zidon said she hasn’t met anyone who hasn’t been concerned about this issue.
“We are just trying to make a difference in a positive kind of way,” she said.
Ostler said the sex trafficking often is discussed as a problem in other parts of the world, so people are often surprised to learn how widespread the practice is right here in this country, too.
“I was shocked to learn that this was so prevalent here in the United States,” Ostler said. “I knew it was in Third-World countries, but not right here.”
Ostler said the fundraiser will benefit Rescue Her, an American organization that fights the sex trade industry in numerous locations.
Those wishing to learn more about Rescue Her may visit the group’s website at rescueher.org.
Ostler said all food, which will include a light breakfast, lunch and a dessert table, has been donated, and the church will not be charging to host the event.
She said those who have gathered food and silent auction donations have been surprised by how supportive people have been.
“My pleasant surprise has been getting out into the community and finding people’s passion to help however they can,” Zidon said.
Ostler said the reaction of the owner of McCool’s Restaurant in Layton got her attention.
“It was really cool to see a man embrace the cause, too,” Ostler said. “The support from the community has been amazing.”
Ostler said those who participate will be surprised to see the extent of donations the group has received for the silent auction. She said the silent auction promises something for everyone.
There are tickets to family activities, certificates for restaurants and many fun packages, she said.
And organizers are excited for the fashion show part of the event.
“Our models range from age 12 to 58,” Ostler said. “They really represent a diverse group of regular people.”
Ostler said prospective models had to fill out an application, which included an explanation of how they felt about fighting sex trafficking.
“The models were chosen based on their heart toward the cause,” Zidon said.
She said she is excited for people to see the fashion show.
“We have clothes from Maurice’s, JC Penney, Rue 21 and Old Navy. They all are excited to show off their spring fashions.”
Girls ages 12 to 17 who participate will be invited to attend a breakout session on beauty inside and out.
Women 18 and older will be invited to a session on balancing their lives.
Both age groups will each have sessions on fitness and on protecting their hearts.
Ostler said only two presenters come from Crossroads Christian Fellowship Church. Most of the presenters are from outside the church.
“This really is a community event to raise awareness and funds,” said the pastor.
Those wishing to purchase tickets may call the church at 801-479-1052 or call Ostler at 801-721-5974 or Zidon at 801-725-7939.
Tickets also are available on the church’s website at ccfutah.org.
Organizers hope to make the event an annual attraction that will contribute to a number of different organizations that fight against the sex trade industry.