Pictured are members of the YWCA, Lincolnview basketball team, and Van Wert basketball team. (Photo submitted)
Pictured are members of the YWCA, Lincolnview basketball team, and Van Wert basketball team. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT – Heavy rain on Saturday didn’t stop local supporters of Human Trafficking Awareness Month from turning out at the Van Wert High School Gym to give their donations to the annual Van Wert-Lincolnview donnybrook generated on behalf of “human trafficking” to raise money for the month-long fund-raising in Van Wert County.

In the end, it was the Cougar varsity that won the game, 50-35, over the Lancers, but for most players, it was the money raised to save young people from human trafficking that was the most important thing.

“This is why we involved this age group in an event such as this,” said Julie Schaufelberger, Outreach Coordinator for the county-wide fundraiser.

”We know that much of the interaction for human trafficking occurs between the ages of 14 and 18,” continued Schaufelberger. “We try to see that the students are educated in safety knowledge of ways of protecting and helping themselves and their friends."

Schaufelberger said that the idea of developing a traveling trophy has motivated involvement in the Human Trafficking Awareness game. Rob Welch, of Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy, developed the trophy which consists of a white basketball with the wording, “YWCA of Van Wert County Human Trafficking Awareness Week Competition, Lincolnview Lady Lancers versus Van Wert Cougars.”

Prior to the week showcasing the big fund-raising game, girls hold various fund-raising opportunities in their own schools. The Lincolnview girls made a large number of white trafficking bracelets to be sold in fund-raising.

Other upcoming events for the rest of the month include the Glow Bowl 2020 to bring awareness to human trafficking and raise funds for victims served by the YWCA of Van Wert County.

The “Glow Bowl” will be held on Jan. 19 from 1-5 p.m. at Olympic Lanes in Van Wert.

During that time a silent auction will be held from 1-5 p.m. at Olympic Lanes in conjunction with Glow Bowl.

All Glow Bowl Silent Auction items are listed on the website page event, wwwywcavanwert.org.

On Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. a “Pounds and Pour” Rockstars wanted event will be held at the Elks Lodge in Van Wert.

Those involved are encouraged to bring their Pound posse, their inner rockstar, and benefit the victims of human trafficking. Pound is the first cardio jam session inspired by the sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums.

All fitness levels are welcome. The workout is modifiable for a range of fitness levels and joint or flexible issues.