ALGONQUIN, Ill. (CBS) – Kristen Guerrieri says she first learned about the crime of sex trafficking when she heard about girls in Cambodia, clad in red dresses, being sold into the sex trade….so she decided to don her own red dress, ride a bike through Algonquin to raise money and awareness.
“I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing. The cause is actually gaining momentum” said Guerrieri.
Many of these girls are runaways, young teens who get involved with the wrong people.
“It’s not like it is internationally. It’s not 8 year olds in a brothel. It’s middle school girls being sold online.
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The race will benefit the Salvation Army PROMISE (Anne’s House), a local residential program that provides aftercare for victims, and Love146, an organization that provides prevention and aftercare solutions internationally. Prizes will be awarded for the top male and female finishers and for the top three finishers in each age category.
The Inaugural Red Run/Walk 5K kicks off on August 11, and already has over 200 participants. She hopes to raise more than $10,000 for the cause.
“As many as 25,000 females are exploited every year in Chicago alone — with the average age of entry being 12–14 years old,” Guerrieri continued. “We must band together, educate ourselves, and say, ‘Not in our town! Not our children!’”
For more information or to register for the event please visit theredrun.org. Registration is $25 in advance of the event or $35 at the door.