03/20/2013 12:00 AM

03/19/2013 3:47 PM

Tory Foster overcame major obstacles and used her creative talents to raise local awareness about children and youths who are victims of sex trafficking.

Tory was largely responsible for bringing a banquet -- “From Numbers to Names” -- to the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway on March 1 to benefit Compassion First, a Portland, Ore.-based organization that fights trafficking and works to restore children after they’re rescued. The event raised at least $30,000, including $3,000 for the live paintings Tory did. The paintings tell the story of a girl who was rescued.

“Logistically it was very difficult, because the headquarters are in Portland,” said Tory, an 18-year-old senior at Cannon School who has painted at other Compassion First banquets on the West Coast. “They had an exhibit that they had to transport to Charlotte, so they were worried about that. But they had a few connections at Grace Covenant Church” who helped make it happen.

“There’s no way it should have worked. We looked at the manual for doing a banquet, and it usually takes about a 25-person team. But we did it with four people” – Tory; her mother, Megan Foster; Allison Bolet Cafaro and Cindy Barnes. Asked how they pulled it off, Tory said: “God.”

Reid Creager

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