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Boca Raton News


Date ArticleType
12/4/2019 General
Angel Moms Welcome Elizabeth Smart


Boca Raton, FL – (December 4, 2019) – The trauma and horror of being a human kidnapping victim are difficult to relay, even to those who want to help. Only a person who has endured, survived and even triumphed, following such an ordeal, can truly understand. To help others grasp the enormity of what it is like to be a victim – and then a survivor – Elizabeth Smart will share her experience, as the keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Angel Moms Brunch and Benefit on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

Born in Utah in 1987, Smart was abducted from her home at age 14 in June 2002. Held captive by a fanatic named Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, Smart was repeatedly raped, drugged and forced to endure religious rituals, until earning her freedom in March 2003. She has since become a noted activist and author, launching the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011, authoring My Story in 2013, and being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey and Katie Couric.

Following her experience, Smart married Matthew Gilmour in 2012, and they have two children together. Her successful career as an activist allows her to share her advocacy for abduction and kidnapping victims. Smart’s appearance is generously underwritten by Arthur and Shelly Adler and Chuck and Marjorie Isroff.

At the Angel Moms Brunch and Benefit, with the theme of “Southern Charm,” the audience will be filled with women who volunteer to help improve the lives of foster children, youth who have aged out of state care, and human trafficking survivors. Place of Hope’s Angel Moms provide a network of comprehensive care for those who are in need, like Smart once was.

“When victims are released or rescued from their captors, their experiences are beyond words, more than unvictimized people may be able to grasp,” said Place of Hope Founding CEO Charles L. Bender III. “But there are always stories of hope among these horrific ordeals. Like Elizabeth, many of the people Place of Hope helps go on to live fulfilling, productive lives. We are honored and excited to have her as a keynote speaker and an example of what hope and transformation can do.”

The Brunch will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Royal Palm Beach Yacht and Country Club, 2425 W Maya Palm Dr., Boca Raton, FL 33432. Early Bird tickets go on sale January 1, 2020, for $150 each, at https://www.placeofhoperinker.org/angelmomsbrunch
Sponsors of the 7th Annual Angel Moms Brunch and Benefit “Southern Charm” include Presenting Individual Sponsor Dr. Heidi Schaeffer; Presenting Family Sponsors Jeannine and Leland Morris; Building Hope Leadership Society Partners Boca West Children’s Foundation, CMAA, Mary and Bill Donnell, Michelle and Michael Hagerty, Scott and Katharine Moss, Gary Peters Family Foundation, Drs. Leighan and David Rinker and the Warren Family; Impact Sponsors Susan and Peter Brockway, the Coulombe Family Foundation and Amy Kazma; Corporate and Family Sponsors Holly Boswell, The Moss Family, NCCI, Leighan and David Rinker Family, The Sadusky Family, Craig and Nikki Stelzer and the Woods Family Foundation and; Defender Sponsors Debbie Bomford, The Boroian Family, Renee Feder and Eileen Needleman.

2020 Co-Chair Committee: Cherie Arscott, Bonnie Boroian, Susan Brockway, Mary Donnell, Renee Feder, Kelly Fleming, Amy Kazma, Janet Kuzio, Jeannine Morris, Katharine Moss, and Wendy Sadusky.

With campuses in Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Hobe Sound, Port St. Lucie and Boca Raton, Place of Hope is a faith-based, state-licensed children’s organization that provides family-style foster care (emergency and long-term); family outreach and intervention; maternity care; safety for domestic minor sex trafficking victims; transitional housing and support services; adoption and foster care recruitment and support; hope and healing opportunities for children and families who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect.

For more information, please contact Monica Speer at 561-483-0962. Place of Hope at The Leighan and David Rinker Campus is located at 21441 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton, FL 33433; www.placeofhoperinker.org.

The 7th Annual Angel Moms Brunch and Benefit, “Southern Charm,” featuring activist Elizabeth Smart
When: Tuesday, March 31, 2020; 10:30 a.m.
Where: Royal Palm Beach Yacht and Country Club, 2425 W Maya Palm Dr., Boca Raton, FL 33432
RSVP to Monica Speer, monicas@placeofhoperinker.org, 561-483-0962

Elizabeth Smart Biography:

     The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held a prisoner for 9 grueling months.

     Through this traumatic experience, Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.

     The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

     Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, "My Story." In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, “You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.

     Elizabeth has recently released a new powerful and inspiring book about what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on, and reclaim one’s life. "Where There’s Hope" is the result of Elizabeth’s mission: It is both an up-close-and-personal glimpse into her healing process and a heartfelt how-to guide for readers to make peace with the past and embrace the future.

     Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continue to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "everyday" people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012, and they now have two beautiful children. Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after tragedy.