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Disc Golf Tournament Takes Aim at Human Trafficking

The inaugural “End It” Disc Golf Tournament in Austell on Oct. 12 will raise money for Wellspring Living, a nonprofit that aids women and girls victimized by human trafficking.

By Jon Gargis

The city of Austell’s recently completed disc golf course will be the setting Oct. 12 of an event aimed at raising awareness about modern-day slavery.

The inaugural “End It” Disc Golf Tournament will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Frog Rock Disc Golf Course, 3045 Veterans Memorial Highway. The entry fee is $30, which will net participants a tournament disc, t-shirt and wristband. Proceeds will benefit Wellspring Living, a nonprofit whose mission is to “confront the issue of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation through awareness, training, and treatment programs for women and girls,” according to its website.

Taylor Morris, a junior sociology major at Kennesaw State University, is one of the organizers of the event put forth by the End It Ministry at Ewing Road Baptist Church in Austell, which aims to raise awareness and support organizations that are fighting to end modern-day slavery. 

“Recently, a bunch of us college students went to the Passion conference in Atlanta—a big conference for college-age students, you come and learn about God, worship God—and there’s always a cause they focus on. Modern-day slavery was the big cause the past two years,” Morris said. “We wanted to get involved and do something, but we really didn’t know how, and being that it’s modern-day slavery and human trafficking, a lot of people at that time still didn’t really know a whole lot about it, so we wanted to present it to the church and say, ‘Look, here’s the numbers, this is what’s going on, this is what’s in the world today.’

“The city of Atlanta is actually one of the top cities in the country for human trafficking and sex trafficking, and it has crept into the suburbs, so it’s very much amongst us. The church, we’re in the city of Austell, and we were thinking, ‘How could we do a community event that would get this city and the community together, and do something for this cause?’ This brand new course Austell created to bring in people and build excitement around the city—[we thought,] ‘This brand new course, it’s perfect timing to do an event like this for human trafficking.”

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Initiative states that human trafficking “is reputed to be one of the most profitable endeavors of organized crime and the fastest growing; an endeavor which enslaves thousands of people within our borders each year and perhaps millions outside those borders.

“The crime of human trafficking is slavery,” the initiative’s website states. “It is the sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes; it is compelling people to labor or provide services through force, fraud, or coercion, whether citizens, legal residents, or persons having entered the country illegally. It is also taking from a person his or her travel documents (passports and or visas, whether authentic or forged) to compel that person's labor or services.”

Disc golf players from across the state, as well as Alabama and Ohio, have already signed up to participate. Twenty-two had signed up as of last Monday, and organizers are hoping to get 30 to 50 participants. Morris said similar tournaments usually see most participants register on the day of the tournament.

Those wishing to take part in the tournament, which will be played in a doubles format, can register with a partner of their choice or as a single to be partnered with another solo registrant. Frog Rock is a 9-hole course; for the tournament, participants will play each hole twice—once from beginner tees, once from advanced tees.

For more information on the End It Disc Golf Tournament, visit the event’s Facebook page or email Tournament Director Taylor Morris at austelldiscgolf@gmail.com.



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