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Patriots United event aims to fight human trafficking

Group plans breakfast, talk on problem

CRYSTAL LAKE – Joe Edwards knows a united community is key in fighting human trafficking.

That is why the president of Patriots United is casting aside political and policy differences to bring together people of all backgrounds, beliefs and ages to inspire action and discussion on the issue at the fifth annual Celebrating Life Unity Breakfast.

The breakfast, scheduled for Saturday at D’Andrea Banquet on 4419 Route 14 in Crystal Lake, will focus on eradicating sex trafficking at its root and addressing the societal factors that allow the practice to grow.

Edwards said one of the most exciting aspects of this year’s event is the number of young people expected to attend. Students from Aurora University, Moody Bible Institute and McHenry County College, as well as young people from local churches, have already registered, he said.

“It’s really exciting to think by the time it comes we’re going to be looking at 70-plus young people in attendance,” Edwards said. “This is something people can truly get behind together.”

The keynote speaker will be Laila Mickelwait, the founder of New Reality International, a nonprofit humanitarian relief organization that she directed until 2011, when she became director of awareness and prevention for Exodus Cry.

Exodus Cry is an international anti-trafficking organization committed to abolishing modern-day slavery and assisting the victims through rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

Edwards said U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, will be in attendance to share how much progress he is making on
Capitol Hill and will be joined by many other civic leaders.

Invitations have even been made to frequent political opponents such as state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, and McHenry County Citizens for Choice, Edwards said.

“This is the most nonpolitical issue we do every year. Political affiliations absolutely do not matter when it comes to this,” he said. “It makes us really excited to be able to reach out across the aisle on this.”

Patriots United is a nonprofit organization focused on supporting pro-family issues, limited government, free market economy, national defense and choice in education.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the event and the program runs from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast will be provided for attendees.

People interested in attending can visit to register. Cost is $25 for those who register online by Wednesday or $30 at the door.

If you go

What: Celebrating Life Unity Breakfast

When: From 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: D’Andrea Banquets, 4419 Route 14, Crystal Lake

Cost: $25 in advance, $30 at the door

To register: Visit

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