ALGONQUIN – Organizers are planning the third annual Red Run to continue to raise money and awareness to end child sex trafficking.
Last year, the event raised more than $30,000 and attracted more than 530 runners, according to a news release.
The event, scheduled this year for Aug. 9 at Presidential Park, started after Algonquin natives Cortina Nystad and Kristen Guerrieri wore red dresses as they ran through the village, to raise awareness about young girls who wore red dresses and were sold into the sex trade in southeast Asia.
"So many people hear about trafficking and get paralyzed," Guerrieri said in a news release.
"They are overwhelmed at the magnitude of the issue and then don't know how or what they can do about it," Guerrieri added. "The Red Run is a way for people to do something tangible and immediate for the cause. People who aren't directly working with survivors or aren't first responders can still stand up against trafficking."
Money from this year's race will benefit the Salvation Army's Anne's House program, a Chicago-area residential program that provides after care for sex-trafficking victims. Money also will go to Love146, an organization that works internationally to end of child trafficking and exploitation.
"Our work could not continue without the engagement of others," said David Henry, a partnership coordinator with Love146. "[The Red Run Foundation] has put action to their words and have filled their hearts, not only with compassion, but also with courage to engage with such a devastating issue."
The 5K event will include a prize for the best red dressed participant, a speaker from Love146, chip timing, team registration, a prize for the top male and female finishers, awards for the top three finishers in each age group, and products for sale to support victims and survivors of human trafficking.
The first 500 people to register will receive race bags and T-shirts, the news release said.
"Every child deserves their innocence, their freedom and the opportunity for a glorious, purpose-filled life," Guerrieri said. "We want everyday people to feel like they can do something important to help change the world."
Go to www.theredrun.org to sign up for the third annual Red Run. The cost is $30 for runners, and $25 for walkers. Registration fees increase by $10 on race day.
Race day information
When: Aug. 9. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. Race begins at 8 a.m.
Where: Presidential Park, 700 Highland Ave., Algonquin