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A survivor’s advocate and a victim of international labor trafficking will be featured speakers at the “Fifth Night for Freedom” dinner and auction Saturday, April 6, at Stetson University.

The sponsor is Helpers of People Enslaved (HOPE), a group made up of representatives from seven West Volusia churches.

Members of several West Volusia churches, including Trinity United Methodist Church in DeLand, St. Ann’s Catholic Church in DeBary and Orange City United Methodist Church, are involved with HOPE.

The annual fundraising event starts with a silent auction at 5:30 p.m., with a buffet dinner to follow.

Tickets cost $50, and may be purchased at http://bit.ly/2MQgdpE. The venue is the Stetson Room in the Carlton Union Building on the Stetson University campus.

Featured speakers are trafficking-survivor advocate Linda Leonard Woods of the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force, and Angela Choque, who was lured into the labor trade by a deceptive recruiting advertisement targeting immigrants.

Choque thought she was relocating to work in the hospitality industry. At the dinner, she’ll tell her story of what actually happened when she arrived in Florida.

Last year, the group’s banquet raised more than $20,000 through ticket sales, sponsorships and auctions to help victims of human trafficking.

Ulabsing some of the funds raised, HOPE awarded a $15,000 grant to Children’s Home Society of Florida to help provide safe houses and shelter for trafficking victims in Volusia and Flagler counties. Since the nonprofit’s founding in 2013, more than $44,000 in victim-relief grants has been awarded.

Information about this year’s event is available from Orange City United Methodist Church. Call the church at 386-775-3068.


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