On Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 a.m., the registration table opens for “Run to Break the Chain” a 5K run on the Prom in Seaside.

The race starts at 9 a.m., the route beginning at 12th Avenue and the Prom, continuing south on the Prom to Avenue U. Runners will head east on Avenue U to Downing Street, where they will turn around and head west back to the Prom, following the Prom north back to 12th Avenue and the finish line. The cost is $30 … and you get a tee shirt.

“We’re really excited about the run,” said Skyler Archibald, Executive Director of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District. “It’s our second year working with Shannon Symonds and the awesome volunteers from Operation Underground Railroad. It’s an amazing cause.”

The partnership to bring funds to a well-deserved program and give people an opportunity to run the beautiful Prom of our community is a win-win, he said, with about 40 participants in the 2018 run.

Proceeds from the run benefit Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District and Operation Underground Railroad (http://ourrescue.org), whose mission is to end human trafficking.

Human trafficking may not be readily apparent as a problem in Seaside, but it is a national issue that can’t be ignored.

“We are a tourist area with many hotels,” Symonds said. “People come in and out. When you raise your awareness, you can be those eyes and ears on the ground and contact police.”

Symonds said this is the second time the race is being run.

“It’s one of the few races done on the Prom,” she said.

Operation Underground Railroad works here and throughout Oregon. Working with Seaside Park and Recreation helps fund youth activities that keeps them in safer places.

Symonds has been a volunteer with Operation Underground Railroad for about two years and writes their monthly newsletter.

Operation Underground Railroad has been in existence for five years and has rescued 2,603 victims and assisted in the arrest of more than 1,365 traffickers around the world. The organization has been profiled on nationwide media.

Grace Lee, Recreation Manager with Seaside Park and Recreation, said, “When Shannon first approached us with this run, we were very interested,” Lee said. “Obviously, human trafficking is tragic; our job as a community is to do what we can.”

Lee said providing community events and offering healthy activities can help keep potential trafficking victims feel connected and lead healthy lives. “It’s wonderful when our missions converge.”

For more information, check the Facebook page “Run to Break the Chain” for more details.

Meanwhile, dust off those running shoes, and on Aug. 17, hit the Prom.

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