Country music star, Sara Evans, lends her star power to end child trafficking


Unlikely Heroes, a non-profit organization that rescues and restores child victims of slavery worldwide held their 6th Annual Recognizing Heroes Awards Dinner & Charity Benefit on Saturday, October 27, 2018. The evening kicked off with award-winning actor, David Oyelowo and his wife, Unlikely Heroes ambassador and actress, Jessica Oyelowo welcoming guests to a very special evening with a with a non-profit close to their hearts. “We love that you are here and to help set those trapped in slavery free” says David Oyelowo. The two described their unbreakable bond they have established with the girls, Unlikely Heroes and CEO Erica Greve.

The audience roared with applause when Austin Hurst of Hurst Capital announced that he was pledging a ONE MILLION DOLLAR matching grant that will rescue 200 kids and give them full restorative care for a year! He encouraged guests to match his contribution so that together over 400 children would be rescued. 

The evening’s keynote speaker was survivor leader, Rebecca Bender. This year’s event also featured live musical performances by Emily West (America’s Got Talent Season 9) and Pia Toscano. Guests enjoyed an unforgettable evening featuring a live musical performance by Multi-Platinum Country Music Superstar, Sara Evans, an exclusive VIP cocktail reception with celebrity hosts LeeAnne Locken and Melissa Rycroft.

The red carpet featured Francia Raísa (Grown-ish), David Oyelowo (Gringo, A Wrinkle in Time, Selma),Jessica Oyelowo (Alice In Wonderland, Sleepy Hollow), Pia Toscano (Netflix’s Westside, American Idol), LeeAnne Locken (Real Housewives of Dallas), Melissa Rycroft (Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor), Shane Stevens(Singer/Songwriter), Chef Tiffany Derry (Top Chef Jr, Bar Rescue), Candace Payne (Chewbacca Mom), Emily West (America’s Got Talent), and fashion designer Abi Ferrin.

The 2018 Awards bestowed upon four deserving honorees for their tireless work in advancing global human rights and outstanding efforts to stop human trafficking. This year's honorees included Detective Dallas PD, Cathy De La Paz; DCAC and Dallas County MDT Care Coordinator, Carrie Wright;  Survivor Leader, Elle Snow; and Governor’s Office Child Sex Trafficking Team and regional Director MDTs, Alan Schonborn. Legacy Award Honorees included  the MAVS Foundation, Lowe’s, Pro Players Foundation,  Ginger Curtis of Urbanology Designs and Ryan Van Steenis.

Since 2011, Unlikely Heroes has rescued hundreds of children and their journey to freedom starts in one of their 7 restoration homes located around the world, including a restoration home for children rescued from slavery in the Dallas/Ft Worth area. The experienced Unlikely Heroes teams are on the ground in the United States, Mexico, Thailand and the Philippines, providing the very best in restorative care, safe housing, education, life skills, medical care, counseling, stability and love to every single child they care for. Learn more at

Photo: Chike Okonkwo, Francia Raisa, Jessica Oyelowo, David Oyelowo, Erica Greve and Sara Evans pose for a photo at the Unlikely Heroes 6th Annual Recognizing Heroes Charity Benefit at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas on October 27, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Unlikely Heroes )