2017 Luncheon Launch Party Celebrates This Year’s ProtectHer Award Recipients

Last week our board members, sponsors and staff gathered at the beautiful home of Lauryn Gayle and Tom White to celebrate the upcoming New Friends New Life Luncheon, and our 2017 ProtectHer Award Recipients - Airline Ambassadors International, United States Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team and Parish Episcopal School. The four recipients will be honored at the May 10 New Friends New Life Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, for their visionary guidance and leadership in protecting the rights of women and children. The luncheon, featuring Joe Ehrmann as headliner, is chaired by Lisa Cooley and Tanya Foster and Honorary Co-Chairs Gail and Dr. R. Gerald Turner.

L to R: Associate Director of Strategic Development for Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, Alan Schonborn; 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Lisa Cooley; Governance Board Chair Wendy Messmann; Men's Advocacy Group Board Chair Chris Kleinert; New Friends New Life Executive Director Kelly Cruse; and 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Tanya Foster 

L to R: Associate Director of Strategic Development for Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, Alan Schonborn; 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Lisa Cooley; Governance Board Chair Wendy Messmann; Men's Advocacy Group Board Chair Chris Kleinert; New Friends New Life Executive Director Kelly Cruse; and 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Tanya Foster 

For our International ProtectHer award recipient, we selected Airline Ambassadors International for its work around the world training airline personnel about the warning signs of human trafficking. You may have read about one such Ambassador – Shelia Fedrick - in the news. Ms. Fedrick is a flight attendant trained by Airline Ambassadors International who identified a human trafficking child victim on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. Thanks to Ms. Fedrick’s keen eye, courage and training, this teen girl is now safe.

2017 Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Gail and Dr. R. Gerald Turner.

2017 Luncheon Honorary Co-Chairs Gail and Dr. R. Gerald Turner.

Our national ProtectHer award recipient is U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who is the founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking as well as the author of five federal anti-trafficking laws since 2012. He is a champion for legislation that prosecutes traffickers and helps restore victims.

L to R: 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Lisa Cooley; 2017 Luncheon Launch Party Host, Lauryn Gayle White; and 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Tanya Foster

L to R: 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Lisa Cooley; 2017 Luncheon Launch Party Host, Lauryn Gayle White; and 2017 Luncheon Co-Chair Tanya Foster

Our state ProtectHer award recipient is Governor Greg Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team, who is dedicated to bolstering Texas’ fight against child sex trafficking. Their study of the scope of child sex trafficking in Texas identified gaps in victims’ services and best practice solutions to fill those gaps.

LORI and Major Jeoff Williams, Texas Department of Public Safety

LORI and Major Jeoff Williams, Texas Department of Public Safety

Finally, our local ProtectHer award recipient is Parish Episcopal School, where our Men’s Advocacy Group was privileged to pilot the New Friends New Life manKINDness Project curriculum - a 60-minute interactive learning experience tailored to teen boys - about the importance of valuing and respecting women and girls. The goal of this curriculum is prevention and Parish stepped up to the plate and said we want our young men to be a part of that. Head of School Dave Monaco and Former Head Coach Scott Nady championed this issue among Parish students and their parents, and helped the Men’s Advocacy Group bring a well-tested curriculum to our  community.

We are so grateful to our 2017 luncheon chairs, board members, sponsors, launch party hosts and ProtectHer award recipients for supporting the mission of New Friends New Life and standing up for victims of sex trafficking and exploitation.