The Button Ball is the year’s largest fundraiser for Davis House Child Advocacy Center. Saturday’s ball will feature Elizabeth Smart as guest speaker. // Photo submitted
Elizabeth Smart, the children’s advocate who was abducted at age 14 in June 2002 and held prisoner for nine months before police safely returned her to her family, will be the guest speaker at Davis House Child Advocacy Center’s Button Ball on Saturday at The Factory at Franklin.
The ball, Davis House’s largest fundraising event of the year, is sold out.
The abduction of Smart, 31, from her home in Salt Lake City by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee, is considered one of the most followed child kidnapping cases in the United States. Smart’s captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.
She was rescued by authorities on March 12, 2003, on a street in Sandy, Utah.
Her experience led Smart to become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation. She was able to later testify before her captors and the world about the private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.
Smart is the founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation,” and she has also helped promote the National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.
She emphasizes vigilance by “everyday” people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child. For more information, visit elizabethsmart.com.
The mission of Davis House Child Advocacy Center is to combat child abuse by coordinating services to children and their families in crisis and providing community education focused on child abuse prevention and early intervention.
Davis House accomplishes this by providing investigative and healing services in response to allegations of sexual and severe physical abuse in the four-county services area of Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties, as well as training adults in the community how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child abuse.
All of these services are provided at no cost. For more information, visit davishousecac.org.