Shine a Light Events in Lakeland to Bring Awareness to the Issue of Child Sex Trafficking; Former American Idol Contestant to Perform at Finale

(Lakeland, FL) – On October 24-25, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes will host Shine a Light, The Porch Light weekend in Lakeland. The weekend-long affair will include a Friday night 5K, Saturday morning free family festival and Saturday night formal gala featuring season 7 American Idol contestant, Jason Castro. The events will take place to raise critical funding for The Porch Light, FBCH’s program to help rescue and restore child victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Shine a Light 5K – Friday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m.

The Shine a Light 5K will take place October 24 at 6:30 p.m. beginning at First Presbyterian Church located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland. The evening run will bring light to the darkness that surrounds sex trafficking. The cost is $30, and competitive runners, as well as walkers, will find this chip-timed 5K to be an event to remember. Awards will be given in standard age divisions, and there will be food truck vendors after the race.

Shine a Light Family Festival – Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m.

On Saturday, October 25, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., there will be a free family festival on the grounds of First Presbyterian Church at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland. A festival for all ages, there will be free food, a pumpkin patch area for family photos, a bounce house and live music. There will also be a Kids’ Fun Run at 10:30 a.m.

Shine a Light Gala presented by Advanced Drying Systems – Saturday, October 25 at 6 p.m.

The finale black tie optional event will take place at Florida Southern College’s Branscomb auditorium at 6 p.m. Ticket price is $50 and will include a performance by internationally-known recording artist Jason Castro, a former American Idol contestant. It will be an evening of hope as FBCH shines a light on the issue of sex trafficking and how the Lakeland community can join together to take a stand for innocent victims. The entertainment-filled gala will include words from Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and FBCH, One More Child and The Porch Light President Jerry Haag, Ph.D., CFP®.

The Porch Light program was launched in 2013, and this week, its first safe home opened where two children are already in care. The Porch Light also includes advocacy and prevention efforts that will help stop sex trafficking before it begins for the next child.

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