Candids from New York in the Valley

Shari Prichard, left, Refuge 1:99 board chair, and Theresa Golden, executive director -- Janice Kiaski

This page is devoted to photos I took at the first key fundraiser for Refuge 1:99, a long-term adult residential program for trafficking victims that Women in the Word Ministries, a 501(c)3, is on the threshold of opening in the Ohio Valley.

New York in the Valley was held Feb. 25 at the Steubenville Country Club and featured an extensive and beautiful fashion show put on by Jill Jones of J.Jones Evening Wear. The event also included a Chinese auction; light refreshments; words of welcome from event co-chairs Phyllis Riccaddonna and Beth Rupert-Warren; and an introduction of board members, committee members and table sponsors.

The home will be staffed by social workers, nurses and trained volunteers 24-7 and offer mental, physical and spiritual healing as well as educational and job readiness.

Executive Director Theresa Golden said human trafficking is not realized, yet is rampant. “It’s here in our town,” she said.

Shari Prichard, board chair, said, “It’s not OK that human trafficking victims have no resources. It’s not OK that there’s less than 500 beds across this country to serve victims.” Prichard said nationally and internationally there are millions of people being trafficked, and Ohio is in the top five states. Typical victims stay in human trafficking seven to eight years before they die, either by overdose or being beaten and they don’t recover, “so we are on a mission to tell everyone willing to listen what is going on.”

For information, call (740) 792-6011.