5k to light night, combat trafficking

By Shannon Findley

Participants of the upcoming 5k, Light Up the Darkness, will create a fluorescent glow while running for a cause.

We Run Because is hosting Light Up the Darkness at 8 p.m. Saturday at the dam as a fundraiser for UnBound, a ministry through Antioch Community Church to fight human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking.

“Human trafficking is one person owning another person and exploiting them,” said Chicago senior Erica Weiss, a member of UnBound’s college team. “The more college students talk about human trafficking, the more awareness there will be.”

The money raised from the Light Up the Darkness 5k will provide resources to help facilitate further sex-trafficking awareness through UnBound’s three major facets for combating the injustice of modern-day slavery – prevention, education and aftercare.

“When people are educated on the issue of sex trafficking, victims will be able to be rescued,” said Susan Peters, Antioch Community Church staff member and director of UnBound.

Peters said each runner at Light Up the Darkness will receive a packet that contains glow bracelets, glow necklaces and glow paint. Participants will be encouraged to paint their faces prior to the run. Everyone is welcome to participate in the 5k, which has an admission fee of $25. Race registration and admission will take place at the Waco dam starting an hour before the event. Peters said she and the UnBound team hope to see at least 350 runners at Light Up the Darkness.

“Light Up the Darkness is just so different and fun,” Peters said.

This is the third 5k held as a fundraiser for the UnBound ministry, but the first time that one of these runs has been glow in the dark.

“I’m just looking forward to all of the glow,” Weiss said.

In addition to the 5k on Saturday, ReFit, a local zumba-like exercise crew will be at the dam leading runners in warm-ups prior to the run. There will be a local band at the event, a photo booth to take pictures with friends and family in before and after the run and other surprises. Prizes will be awarded to first through third place male and female winners of the run.