By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — A free will concert will be offered Sept. 29 by local contemporary Christian music group Faith Fire to aid those working with victims of human trafficking.
“It’s the fifth annual benefit concert,” said Music Director Beth Behnke-Seper. “Our band, Faith Fire, every year we do a concert to raise money for an organization. … This year we are raising money for the Damascus Road project.”
Damascus Road — founded in 2009 and based in Wausau — is dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sexual exploitation by raising awareness through education and restoring and empowering those affected.
“Human trafficking is happening in all 72 counties in Wisconsin,” Behnke-Seper said, “so it is around. Damascus Road works to educate hotels, schools to raise awareness for the people who might be encountering these girls and women.
“Another piece is they work with jails. Their primary population that they work with are 18- to 24-year-old women. If they have been arrested, they help them. Sometimes the women are not even aware that they have been human trafficked. They help victims identify themselves as victims of sex trafficking, and then they also help them. Once they get out, they help equip them for a new life outside of that.”
A silent auction will be held 45 minutes before and a short time following the performance.
“There are all sorts of great baskets,” Behnke-Seper said. “There is some Packers memorabilia, just an assortment of stuff. Everything that we get from the free will offering and everything that we get from the silent auction goes to our partner organization, which this year is Damascus Road.”
Faith Fire is primarily composed of members of Faith Lutheran Church. The group has been performing for the past six years and uses a variety of vocalists, including a children’s choir.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 29 at Faith Lutheran Church, 207 S. Cherry Ave. in Marshfield, with the silent auction opening at 6:15 p.m.