As everyone started to arrive at this year’s Mukti, the weather was perfect and the valet took care of parking (nice!). The first thing that we did was get our photo taken at the Tin Can Photo Lounge (sponsored by Freshfield Farms) and it was super fun to have a chance to be silly! When we walked in the Glass Factory the venue was beautiful and the lighting was perfect, we started the night off with a welcome drink provided by Constellation Brands. Straight ahead, was the silent auction. It was so well organized and displayed, I was impressed!
My friends started to show up and we decided to head over to the pop-up shop and do a little browsing. We learned that some of the products were handmade out of t-shirt by local survivors of human trafficking and others were imported from all over the world. Either way each product is handmade by a survivor and every purchase economically empowers a woman in the U.S. or overseas – that’s amazing! I even found a special gift for my Valentine.
The next thing I knew, the room was full of people, all with one purpose that night: to celebrate freedom! I went over to the table for the champagne raffle and got my number. The Band Be Easy was playing and I was making my way to the dance floor but I had to stop and try out the Hors d’oeuvres! The lights began to flicker and everyone started to find their seats. When I got to my table the first thing I noticed was the centerpiece, the floral arrangements by Cantor Palm were breathtaking and I had to have one! I claimed my Mukti flowers right then.
Lawson and Chelsea Carr, the emcees introduced themselves and then the current human trafficking statistics were projected onto the big screen. The room became silent as we took in the information and were all in awe of what is being accomplished at Rethreaded. Mac McGhee, Executive Vice President of Mac Papers (the presenting sponsor) and Tyson Alualu, defensive end for the Jacksonville Jaguars both stood behind the podium and read poetry. When they were finished we went over to the bar to get a glass of wine to drink with dinner. The food was served buffet style by Biscottis and we each made a plate, we chose from salad, penne pasta, green beans and either chicken or salmon. We stopped by the dessert table to grab a cupcake from Sweet by Holly, macaroons from Motion Sweets and a chocolate chip cookie from Zoe’s Kitchen.
After we finished eating I circled back to the silent auction to see if my bid was still the highest on the items I chose and bid again. We sat back down to hear Melissa Nelson, State Attorney, read poetry. Next, we heard an incredibly personal and moving poem written and recited by Kansas Williams, Rethreaded’s Operation’s Associate.
After drying our eyes from listening to Kansas powerful poem, we watched Rethreaded’s new short film Renew: To Be Made Strong Again. It was an incredible transition into listening to the next set of speakers. Kristin Keen, Rethreaded Founder and President speak about the plans that they have for the future as a company. Jamie Rosseland, Rethreaded Assistant Marketing Manager, shared her story of renewal and hope. Jason Jones, Rethreaded Director of Operations, share the inspiring vision to hire 12 more women this year and what we will need to do in order to make that happen. It was such an emotional and inspiring night.
Then they called the winning number for the Champagne Raffle! We finished out the night dancing and drinking coffee from Social Grounds! I picked up my winnings from the Silent Auction and went home knowing that I had been a part of something meaningful and that I am now an advocate for freedom!
(To see more pictures. learn more about this event and see all the amazing sponsors click here.)