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About 75 golf carts drove in the “Sound of Freedom” golf cart rally Saturday afternoon to raise awareness about child sex trafficking.

Called to action by the “Sound of Freedom,” a recently released film that hopes to bring attention to human trafficking, residents of The Villages gathered in the parking lot of Creekside Care Center on 1050 Old Camp Road to kick off the parade. Most had signs outfitted with the parade’s message, “God’s children are not for sale,” a line from the film spoken by the main character Tim Ballard.

Still others not participating in the rally arrived at the lot to see the parade off as they drove down Buena Vista Boulevard to Brownwood Paddock Square, earning honks of encouragement and gratitude along the way.

Participants chatted before the start of Saturday's golf cart rally
Participants chatted before the start of Saturday’s golf cart rally.

Members of Common Ground, the group responsible for coordinating the event, were thrilled with the turnout. The group discusses events taking place around the world every week and felt inspired by the film to spread its message during several of their meetings. While many of those present at the parade were indeed part of the group, many more were not. Other groups arrived, as well as unassociated individuals, making the rally a collective effort of The Villages.

“We could have had 10 people show up and been happy,” said Charles Todd, one of the event coordinators. “But this had been amazing.”

Facilitator Susan Corcoran and organizer Sarah Stein, both members of Common Ground, shared this sentiment with Todd. They were able to take full advantage of these numbers as they motivated the assembly to be an active group of individuals fighting to protect the children of Florida. This included urging those present to write to Congress and sign petitions regarding issues of child sex trafficking and beyond. A signup sheet for a project closer to home was also being passed around prior to starting the parade.

“This demonstration is about making people aware of these issues with the hope of creating a task force to protect children in The Villages,” said Corcoran.

Celine Goins stands with her golf cart decorated with the number for Homeland Security
Celine Goins stands with her golf cart decorated with the number for Homeland Security.

Those participating in the parade, such as Celine Goins, were eager to join these causes and spread the word. She moved to The Villages from Maryland three months ago and is already putting her passion for community awareness to use. Her main goal for attending was to let people know that human trafficking is not limited to other countries but is happening right here in the United States.

“It’s about time people become aware of the evil that goes on behind closed doors,” said Goins.

For more info: https://www.villages-news.com/2023/08/26/villagers-golf-cart-rally-shows-support-for-sound-of-freedom