Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart and human-trafficking survivor Rani Hong will speak during a keynote address at the Saint Martin’s University Marcus Pavilion in Lacey at 7 p.m. Thursday, capping off a daylong event billed as “Hidden in Plain Sight: Protecting Our Children.”
The event, organized by the Rotary clubs of Thurston County, starts at 1 p.m. at the pavilion with a free community fair that will be attended by more than 20 community organizations and law enforcement agencies, according to a news release. Services and tools to protect children against exploitation, including fingerprinting, retina scans and Crime Stoppers “My Child ID” kits, will be available.
Keynote-address admission is $15 for senior citizens and students and $20 for adults. Proceeds will benefit local prevention programs and The Tronie Foundation, a nonprofit foundation based in Olympia.
In 2002, Smart’s abduction at 14 from her bedroom in Salt Lake City made national headlines. She was held in captivity for nine months before being rescued and reunited with her family.
Hong was taken from her village in India at 7 and sold by a broker into slavery. She eventually was trafficked through Canada into Washington, where she was adopted.
The event coincides with National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.