"Love Is In the Air" Valentine's Gala to tackle human trafficking with long-term victim help

As January, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, nears end, Latisha's House Foundation, a Williamsburg based non-profit will put an area wide focus on sex trafficking victims well beyond the once-a-year observance. Dedicated to helping survivors of human trafficking find safety, empowerment and a positive future through a long term safe house, Latisha's House invites the community to its 6th annual black tie optional Valentine's Gala, "Love is in the Air".

While most services and beds for human trafficking victims are 30-90 days, Latisha's House is one of the few houses nationwide providing long-term residential, medical, psychological, holistic and educational support to female survivors.

"We hope to curb the scourge of sex trafficking in our community by helping victims. The dollars you invest in Latisha's House will help us carry out our vision of changing one life at a time, and changing the world for future generations," said Elizabeth Ameling, Founder and Executive Director.

The event will be held Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Two Rivers Country Club in Governor's Land, Williamsburg.

Enjoy a romantic evening with live music featuring the British style band from Richmond -- the Hullabaloos, silent and live auctions, exclusive champagne and wine, a cash bar, hors d'oeuvres and a 5 star, 5-course plated candlelight dinner. The silent and live auction items feature a trip to Tuscany, Italy, stunning jewelry and romantic weekends for two.

Tickets and Sponsorships can be secured online: www.latishashouse.com.

In 2018, the gala raised $88,000 for women who are survivors of sex trafficking. Funding last year went to education - college and vocational school; emergency medical and mental health services for the women at the safe home. The agency hopes proceeds from this year's event will break $100,000.

Founded in 2014, Latisha's House was birthed after encountering and rescuing a young girl named "Latisha" on the streets of Chicago from her trafficker during a youth mission trip from Virginia.

Since its opening, 50 women have graduated from the program, 40 pimps have received prison sentences, 30 children of trafficking victims have been helped or reunited with their mother, and 90% of women completing the program, received their GEDs and pursued vocational education or college paid for by Latisha's House Foundation.

Latisha's House thanks its current presenting sponsors of the Valentine's Gala: Kaufman and Canoles, Tidewater Orthopedics, Property Adjustments, Inc., Pearson Toyota, Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Compass Wealth Strategies, Heather Cordasco, TPMG -Williamsburg Internal Medicine, Latisha's House Board of Directors: Steve and Marcia Hibbitts, Rev. Charles and Leith Mullaly, Mary Ann Lemere, Gail Gilden, and Lillian Woolfolk. Other sponsors include: Commonwealth Exterminating, Inc and Dr. Sandhya Rajasekhara, Indus Psychiatric Services.

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