Local Couples to Chair New Friends New Life Luncheon

New Friends New Life (NFNL) has announced leadership for the 2019 Annual Luncheon on Oct.11 featuring Jada Pinkett Smith as the keynote speaker. NFNL is a Dallas-based nonprofit that restores and empowers formerly trafficked teen girls and sexually exploited women and their children.

Luncheon Co-Chairs and Shelly Slater and Clayton Huffstutter, of Park Cities, and Christa and Ketric Sanford, of East Dallas, are teaming up to lead what supporters hope will be one the most successful luncheons to date.

Amy and Joe Crafton, of Preston Hollow, will serve as honorary co-chairs for the event that is expected to draw 1,000 attendees.

“This year we are excited to have couples chair the New Friends New Life Luncheon together because we know that sex trafficking is not a women’s issue, it’s a human issue that must be addressed by both men and women,” said Kim Robinson, CEO, New Friends New Life. “Survivors of trafficking and those living under the threat of falling victim at any moment need to know that there are men and women who are willing to stand on their behalf, helping them craft a future for themselves that they couldn’t otherwise imagine.”

Co-Chairs Shelly Slater and Clayton Huffstutter have been advocates for the work of New Friends New Life for several years. Slater has been on the NFNL Board of Directors since 2016 and has served as emcee of multiple NFNL luncheons. Huffstutter is a member of the NFNL Men’s Advocacy Group that mobilizes men through education, awareness, and volunteerism.

“We have a vested interest in supporting New Friends New Life, an organization that, for 20 years, has served as a lifeline for women who have been trafficked and exploited in our community,” Slater said. “To know that there are 400 trafficked teens on the street every night in Dallas and that the average age of a girl entering the sex trade is anywhere between 13 and 15, we believe that it is our civic duty and responsibility to help end to this form of modern-day slavery.”

“New Friends New Life is doing an amazing job creating awareness of a problem that many people still don’t realize is happening in our own backyard,” added Huffstutter. “This luncheon inspires more people to get involved, which is critical for change to happen. We simply cannot stand by and let this continue.”

Huffstutter is a principal at Park Cities Asset Management, where he focuses on investor relations and capital markets. Slater is a multi-Emmy-Award-winning journalist and a recipient of the National Edward R. Murrow Award. After ten years on the anchor desk at WFAA, she runs her own company to help corporations win business and trust through carefully crafted messaging.

Additionally, Slater and her sister are co-owners of The Slate, a new co-working space in the Design District that provides offices as well as a large studio, podcast room, and team-building room. The couple lives in the Park Cities with their three young boys.

Co-Chairs Christa and Ketric Sanford have been involved with New Friends New Life since 2011. Christa Sanford is a new member of the NFNL Board of Directors and past president of the agency’s Circle of Friends Board. Ketric Sanford is a member of the NFNL Men’s Advocacy Group.

“With three young kids, Ketric and I believe that our work with New Friends New Life is instrumental in helping keep children from becoming trapped in the sex trafficking industry,” said Christa Sanford. “By understanding and addressing factors like childhood sexual abuse, poverty and other complex trauma that make children, particularly young girls, more susceptible to being victimized by traffickers, New Friends New Life is breaking the cycle by creating a community where teen girls can overcome their backgrounds and thrive.”

“We are encouraged by the comprehensive work of New Friends New Life to address the issue from all angles,” added Ketric Sanford. “From advocacy and prevention to restoration and empowerment, we are disrupting the trafficking industry at its very core.”

Christa Sanford serves on the First Baptist Academy Board of Trustees and the Emerging Leader Board for SMU Dedman School of Law. She is a founding officer of The Village Giving Circle and an active member of the Junior League of Dallas. A partner at Baker Botts, Christa Sanford practices patent law, and Ketric Sanford is managing director of Corsica Capital Partners. Additionally, Ketric Sanford serves as treasurer on the Big Thought Board of Directors. The Sanford family resides in East Dallas.

Honorary Co-Chair Amy Simmons Crafton is a longtime supporter of NFNL. She and her husband, Joe Crafton, are committed to creating a society that is safe for women and girls. “NFNL not only brings hope to the women, but it also changes their lives – and they experience the love of Christ while in the program. This is the kind of organization we like to stand behind,” said Amy Crafton.

The Oct. 11 luncheon, featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the OMNI Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar St. Pinkett-Smith, a successful actress, producer, director, humanitarian and activist, is passionate about fighting human trafficking, advocating for survivors and creating awareness in communities.

“When I realized it was such a huge problem for women and children all over the world, I really wanted to be a voice to let people know that human trafficking exists,” said Pinkett Smith. “Every last one of us has a job to do regarding combatting human trafficking – whether it’s looking at our own attitudes toward young women and men who get into these circumstances, how we label things, or how we love our children. Just making sure we are educating our own children about human trafficking helps this effort.”

Underwriting sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500. A very limited number of individual tickets at $250 each and above will be made available in September. To reserve your table, please contact Bianca Jackson, 214-217-8650, visit www.newfriendsnewlife.org/luncheon or email [email protected].

Bianca R. Montes

Bianca Montes is an award-winning journalist and former Managing Editor of Park Cities People. She currently serves as a Senior Editor with D Magazine's D CEO publication. You can reach her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @Bianca_TBD. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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