Utah’s Stars and Friends organization hosted a benefit concert Saturday, March 14, featuring tenor Alfie Boe. Proceeds went to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and the Operation Underground Railroad.
The event took place at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University. Shaun King, Larry King’s wife, hosted and played a personal video from Larry King, who couldn’t attend.
Elizabeth Smart appeared in a video before the performances, listing statistics on Internet crimes and child pornography.
“It is estimated that in a 12-month period, looking at the most brutal and graphic of images, there are over 300,000 traffickers that appear on the web. Less than two percent of these cases are being investigated,” Smart said.
Smart said Operation Underground Railroad is committed to rescuing children who are being trafficked around the world. “When it comes to homeland security, this (saving children) should be a priority,” Smart said.
Other performers included The Str!ke, Jenny Oaks Baker and Lexi Walker. Walker’s first performance, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” received a standing ovation.
“Children are not only the most valuable asset, but they are the future,” Smart said. “I know how these children are suffering. There are more than 2 million children worldwide that are being held against their will.”