The latest styles for fall and winter were on display, but the theme was far from focused on fashion alone.
Held at Oak Hill Gardens in September, the event was hosted by Amy Root, owner of I’m So Fancy, as a fundraiser for THORN which focuses on assisting in locating and rescuing children who have been exploited into sex trafficking.
Root said that children are often abducted through relationships established over Internet sites and unknowingly sold for sex trafficking purposes.
“This happens in Kentucky, it happens in every state,” she said. “We don’t want to think about it happening to anyone we know, but it’s going on and we need to bring attention to it.”
But through the technology developed by THORN, thousands of children plunged into sex trafficking have been located and rescued. Thorn was founded in 2012 by actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher after they learned about children being exploited for that purpose in Cambodia. Further research showed that sex trafficking is just as common in the United States. Kutcher took his platform before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2017, asking for their support and help in partnering to stop these crimes against children. Kutcher spoke about technology that had helped locate and rescue those children, many of whom were once in the foster care system. Kutcher told committee members about “Spotlight,” a software program that is used to locate missing and exploited children – software developed after he was contacted by Homeland Security to assist in the effort.
Root became aware of the organization and used that as a fundraising fashion show to bring more awareness to the local area.
“THORN has created software to locate predators and through Spotlight, has located over 2,000 missing children,” she said. “But once they are rescued, they need mental health counseling because that’s the only life they’ve known. Statistics show that once they are sold into sex trafficking, most die within three to seven years. They are exposed to venereal diseases, botched abortions and other life threatening situations.”
Root said that the fashion show was one way to bring awareness to THORN and its purpose, with the proceeds from the show donated to that organization. A spring show is scheduled to raise more money to assist with prevention of sex trafficking.
To learn more about THORN and how you can help, visit their website at www.thorn.org.