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9/9/2016 - Message From Courage Worldwide - WHAT A TRIATHLON!
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Two years ago I found out how severe the problem of child sex trafficking was right here in our State, Not from some faraway place, but right here in my back yard. Our American children are being bought and sold as if a commodity. 77% of the men that purchased children for sex in 2015 were married, employed, and had children of their own.
I went to Adventure Christian Church in Roseville and heard Jenny Williamson talk about being courageous and making a difference in a childĦs life. I came home and the constant nag in my brain said Ħcheck out Courage WorldwideĦ I found out that they were nailing the issue of providing resources serving the traumatic trauma bonds of children rescued from trafficking. I proceeded to take their comprehensive 3 day training. I even became even more enraged after hearing a special agent with the FBI give substantiated case factors of our Adult men and women victimizing the vulnerable children. PredatorĦs prey on children at malls, foster care, homes, school functionĦs and utilize social media to groom and capture victims.
I spoke with Joanne Vice and we came up with the Courage Triathlon to try and raise money to help Courage Worldwide build more homes for these kids.
Courage Worldwide has had to turn away 354 children so farĦK.oh HECK NO we said. I told them my community would not stand for this and so it began!
The California Correctional Center and HDSP union chapters immediately supported us by sponsorship and also both prisons staff and administration began supporting us in effort and in sponsorship. If you walk into CCC you will hear COURAGE TRIATHLON. The California Correctional Supervisors Organization sponsored in funds and donated the needed first aid kits for each station!!! Thank you Jason Bernard for that In the community I spoke of issue and need for resources and as I for saw they came out to support. Susan river reality, Susanville IGA, Lassen Ale works have been strong supporters. The AMAZING town of Chester Ca practically did anything we wanted to facilitate event. Plumas Bank in Chester donated funds and even put up a Courage Worldwide display in their lobby for three months! Rusty Chandelier sponsored and allowed us to hand out flyers during 4th of July Celebration, Holiday Market allowed us to have packet pick up IN their store and provided all the food and ice two years running! St. Bernard Lodge supported us by means of advertisement of event!! Plumas County SheriffĦs Department provided boat patrol!
Linda Powell owner and operator of the Bizz Running company also Sgt at Susanville CHP began to help us form event and time event. Doug Cain did amazing volunteer work DJ event keeping everyone entertained and spirited. (HE ROCKED IT) Captain Randy Hewitt from CCC became the Volunteer coordinator and did phenomenal job at incident command of well over 100 people needed to make event work! Joanne Vice the Courage Triathlon Coordinator used her knowledge of runs and created the course for this incredible event. I am the Courage Ambassador and my job was to go out and get sponsors and complete conferences and group trainings on victim identification of trafficked victims and work on all the needed public relations.. Together Joe and I said as doors flew open while creating this event ĦTHIS IS A GOD THINGĦ no way things this perfect just happen so we often are humbled by the generosity of our co-workers and community! We never want to leave anyone out. Right now the HIGH from this most EPIC event is just starting to die down and we will re-group to try and not miss not one Courage Volunteer, sponsor or participants who without this NEVER could have happened! Customer Talk in Susanville provided the t-shirts. Plumas Transit provided transportationĦK
US Forest service provided the 7.1 mile bike trail for bikers and most of the running portion of trail. Plumas Pines Resort is outstanding in support of Triathlon and for the past two years allowed us full use of resort for our start and finish and ceremonies. PG&E allowed us of the South Group Camp Ground for the transition from bikes to kayaks who on the last leg kayaked 4.1 miles back to Plumas Pines Resort. The HDSP/CCC Honor Guard opened event with the flying of the colors and Shane Marks pastor at Adventure Christian church in Roseville (MY SON) opened us in prayer, Madison Cole from Standish Ca sang the national anthem.
We had participantĦs from ages 8 to 89 come run so they donĦt have to!
We had participantĦs come from ALL over the state and as far as Portland OregonĦKall saying this was the most fun event I have ever been to! We will be back with friends!
With so much pride we watched a man who is suffering from brain cancer complete the entire 2.8 mile run, 7.1 mile bike and 4.1 kayak! Look at the age group 89 year old lady rocked the kayak portionĦKbecause she believed NO child should be sold for sex! We had a man who ran in our first Triathlon who was so inspired he stopped drinking and lost 70 lbs just to come participate this year he also had his co-workers from Sutter County Hospital sponsor him and handed Courage Worldwide over $1,700!
We saw many walks of life come across that finish line with a smile and proudly displayed their medal!!! All I can say is if you missed it you missed the most unifying event in our area EVER!
BACCA Bikers against child abuse came to volunteer and did parking detail, AWAKEN from Reno came with information they do with victims there, Lassen Family Services not only participated with a three man team but put up a booth providing everyone with information for our local resources for victims.
This run was not just your average spectacular event but a way to let the ENTIRE state and world know that we here in Lassen and Plumas County will NOT stand for any form of abuse and we will BE IN IT TO END IT!
So if you want to see what team work is, what fighting for justice is, what challenging self to overcome odds to run, bike and kayak looks like visit our Facebook page Courage Triathlon, Lake Almanor and also visit www.courageworldwide.org for information on what you can still doĦKIf you are inclined to donate please say the Courage Triathlon sent you because we want the world to know that here in Lassen and Plumas County we are making the difference!
Dawn Hershberger correctional officer CCC and Courage Ambassador!
Joanne Vice Correctional Officer CCC and Courage Triathlon Coordinator
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