Foodies will delight in a growing roster of restaurants eager to create a culinary wonderland at the second annual Taste of Freedom on Saturday, April 8 from 6 – 9:30 p.m. at Scanlon Lexus of Fort Myers, 4200 S. Tamiami Trail in Fort Myers. The Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition hosts this food-forward masquerade affair that also presents the opportunity to win a two-year lease on a sleek and stunning 2017 Lexus.
“Unmask and Empower” is the theme as the community comes together to support the lifesaving mission of the Coalition and its community partners to raise awareness of human trafficking and celebrate the empowerment of its survivors.
Fifteen restaurants have now signed up for Taste of Freedom. This fun, foodie-themed masquerade gala featuring cocktails, chef stations from a wide array of local restaurants, wine, live musical entertainment by local favorite Electric Lipstick, DJ in chefs’ area by Darius Joseph and attractive adventure auction prizes.
Taste of Freedom is a celebration of awareness, which is key to achieving a slave-free Southwest Florida. Florida is third in the country as a destination for human trafficking, while SW Florida claims the dubious distinction of being first in the state. While the statistics are staggering, the community enjoys a delicious opportunity to come together on April 8 and make a significant difference.
Again this year, Title Sponsor Scanlon Lexus of Fort Myers will award a 24-month lease on a 2017 Lexus to one lucky raffle winner, with the choice of either a 2017 NX200T or IS350. For increased chances, raffle tickets are available in advance of the event for $50 each or three for $100 at swfl-humantrafficking.org/events.
Restaurants confirmed to date include Bahama Breeze, Bonefish Grill, Cantina Laredo, Crave Culinaire, Cru, DaRuMa, Ellie Bee’s Bakery, Fresh Fit Foods of Naples, Indian Palace, LeeRoy Selmon’s, Tarpon Bay – Hyatt Coconut Point, Noele Chocolate & Confections, Perfectly Scrumptious, Sweet Melody and Trattoria Mia.
Auction items include an airplane ride and lunch with Mayor Randy Henderson, a year-long fitness membership, restaurant-and-hotel packages, an exclusive experience with the Cape Coral Police Department, a beach house weekend with a picnic-equipped Regions Bank green bike, golf packages and much more.
With its service partners, the Southwest Florida Regional Trafficking Coalition raises awareness through educational seminars to first responders, law enforcement, medical ER staff, corporate training, advocacy and more. Due to increased awareness, notifications to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 have increased 50 percent in the last year alone. The Coalition has made many measurable gains since forming in 2005, making Southwest Florida the epicenter of the state’s fight against this devastating crime. The inaugural Taste of Freedom featured more than $25,000 of live auction items and raised more than $34,000 in funds for the organization.
Event tickets are $100 and can be purchased at SWFL-humantrafficking.org/events. Tables are available for purchase as well. All proceeds raised through the Taste of Freedom event will benefit the Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition.
Support for Taste of Freedom allows Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition and its service partners to assist victims of human trafficking locally, nationally and globally. Along with title sponsor Scanlon Lexus of Fort Myers, sponsors include Dunkin’s Diamonds, Platinum PEO Resources, Inc., CONRIC PR & Marketing, Card Systems, Walmart, ARC of Life, Christine Massey, Florida Academy Immokalee Casino, Cape Coral Police Department, Paul Mitchell the School – Fort Myers, WINK-TV, Zonta-Naples, among many more.
For information about sponsorships or chef station opportunities for restaurants, contact coalition President Lynn Brewer at (239) 691-1128 or email@example.com.
About SWFL Regional Human Trafficking Coalition
Southwest Florida Regional Human Trafficking Coalition strives to raise awareness of sex, labor and organ trafficking in southwest Florida and the United States. Its goal is to develop partnerships with the community, service providers, law enforcement and the media to combat human trafficking through education, coordination, outreach and training. Numerous services, through their service partners, are provided, including emergency services, shelter, mental health services, treatment plans, housing, transportation, legal assistance, medical services and hotlines on the local, state and national levels.