Congratulations to our friend and business partner Suzanne Smith from Betty Be Good on her continued efforts to make a difference in the lives of women affected by trafficking crimes.
Suzanne’s caring nature is helping empower women who were once victims of sex trafficking. She said that (in addition to raising over 10,000 at her recent fundraiser) two percent of all sales go into “Betty’s Liberty Closet,” a fund that directly supports women who are survivors of sex trafficking and now live in a Canadian safe house. Smith also donates clothing to these women that they then can wear and feel empowered. Check out the story below to see what Suzanne is doing to help our community!
Local boutique Betty Be Good hosted a fashion show fundraiser at Birch Bay Square Thursday, October 11th with 180 people showing their support for local human trafficking charity Engedi Refuge. It was fashion for a purpose as 18 models from ages 19 – 82 years old walked the runway in 40 styled fall looks from Betty Be Good Boutique celebrating five years in Blaine.
“The audience was lively and enthusiastic especially when 82 year old model Elizabeth who resides in Semiahmoo walked down the runway. We heard from many attendees that the styles were so wearable. This show was quite different from the typical runway show where the clothes are unattainable,” said Suzanne Smith, Betty Be Good Owner & benefit organizer.
Emcee Tara Teng, former Miss Canada 2011-2012, brought tears of joy and sorrow throughout the evening with her passion for the cause. “We are here united in a sisterhood for one cause. Don’t you love it when women support and love on other women,” Teng shared as the audience cheered.
Tears continued from the audience as trafficking survivor Jill, now an Engedi Case Manager, joined Tara to share her story in a question and answer portion of the evening. Jill shared, “My trafficker used to tell me as he was beating me that he was tearing me down to build me up,” she continued to explain about the courage it took to model in the fashion show that evening. It was an act of strength and courage.
Another highlight of the evening was when local fitness instructor Angela Biondolillo lead a team of dancers in a performance called Pound. This high energy drum stick workout was warmly received and pumped up the audience for an energetic evening. Biondolillo teaches Pound at the Birch Bay Recreation Center.
On final tally Liberty In Style raised $10,000 for Engedi Refuge which will fund their recovery programs, trauma counselling, case management, housing and plenty more to rehabilitate survivors of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. “Human trafficking breaks my heart over and over again,” said Smith. “But nights like this they mend it and give me hope that we can overcome this problem. We can give survivors hope again. Thank you for supporting the important work of Engedi.”
To read more about the event and learn about Betty Be Good, click here.
To learn more about Engedi and donate to the cause, click here.
To see all the photos from Jonathan Harbst Photography, click here.
Betty Be Good
8125 Birch Bay Square St., Ste. 201, Blaine
360.255.8513 | shopbettybegood.com
PO Box 950, Lynden
360.922.7600 | engedirefuge.com
Photo credit: Jonathan Harbst Photography