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Christa Hicks to speak on human trafficking

By Staff | Jun 6, 2019

ToniRae Hurley had the idea for the Wine, Women & Wisdom group years before it became a reality.

When she lived in Indiana, she saw it as a call in talk show.

She and a friend wanted to do a call in talk show that would feature wine and a wine pairing and have women call in and share humorous life stories.

Fast forward years later, and it’s a successful gathering of about 20 to 25 women who get together to raise money for charity and listen to speakers talk about all things women empowerment. Oh, there’s always dinner and a beverage, too.

June 12’s 6 p.m. Wine, Women and Wisdom event is going to be bigger than previous gatherings.

That’s because Christa Hicks is the speaker.

Hicks is the executive director of Anti-Trafficking at One More Child and a trafficking survivor herself. She currently helps survivors overcome vulnerabilities, obstacles and injustices to re-build their lives. Hicks uses a trauma-competent approach of grace, respect and boundaries to raise up teams focused on providing opportunities for healing and restoration.

“Christa is such an amazing inspirational woman,” said Hurley, the founder of Wine, Women and Wisdom. “Her message and story is so overwhelming and inspiring and what she does to help others in the human trafficking area is astounding.”

As of June 3, Hurley said 37 people are attending the event.

She expects the total to be somewhere between 40 and 45.

Tickets are $25 and include a glass of wine and dinner buffet of lemon chicken, filet tips over rice and penne Pomodoro.

The event is normally held at Big Blue Brewing, but it’s at Redfish Point Garden Bar & Grill, at 1520 Lafayette Street, to accommodate for a larger crowd.

“We needed a larger venue for Christa Hicks,” Hurley said.

Hicks is a second generation trafficking victim, she became involved with drugs, but she’s turned her life around in a remarkable way.

Now, she gives back to women facing similar circumstances by telling her stories and teaching and mentoring them toward a better future. Before One More Child, Hicks founded Into the Jordan Ministries, a Christ-centered counseling and wellness center for trafficked and exploited adult women, who live in Fort Myers or Cape Coral.

On June 12, Hicks will speak about the scope of the problem, the local Southwest Florida issue, and what One More Child is doing to combat trafficking and provide healing opportunities for trafficked children, youth and young adults.

Wine, Women & Wisdom began in 2007 at Cafe Pinoli, which used to be in Cape Harbour

Hurley and her friend who owned the restaurant were talking about ideas to keep people coming in during summer on Wednesday nights. Out of the blue, Hurley told her about her idea for Wine, Women & Women, and it stuck.

Hurley remembers the first one featured wine and cheese and they learned about different pairings.

The restaurant closed and Wine, Women & Wisdom disbanded. In 2013, Hurley decided she’d resurrect it at another friend’s shop in Cape Coral. Then her friend moved the store to a smaller location and there was no longer room for a cafe.

In 2017, the group began again and held events at Big Blue Brewing.

“Between 20 and 25 ladies attend,” Hurley said. “It’s grown now to each month. We have a presentation or a project as well as each month we support a different local nonprofit. It’s kind of developed into something fun and philanthropic.”

Hurley’s goal for this month’s event is to bring women together and educate them on human trafficking.