(Redding, CA) July 3, 2012 — On Saturday July 14, Redding natives Ryan Russell, Deven Carter and Kyle Matti took part in “The Seattle to STPteam3_reducedPortland Classic,” touted by Bicycling Magazine as the “best cycling event in the nation,” and the largest multi-day cycling event in the Northwest. Beginning at The University of Washington and ending at Holladay Park in Portland, the ride covers more than 200 miles and is expected to attract more than 10,000 riders. This year they are riding with a mission in mind. They are riding to support Run For Courage, Inc. a non-profit out of Sacramento that raises awareness and funds to combat Modern Day Slavery…

The team, all colleagues at Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto Architects, started training for this race only in February 2012 and began fundraising in June 2012. They were astonished to learn about the reality of sex trafficking in the United States. “The first time we talked about sex trafficking along I-5, it really burdened us to know that it’s occurring at rest stops and gas stations along this major freeway near where we’ll be riding. We immediately knew that this ride was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the problem. People think that it only happens overseas, but it happens here. Our team wants to expose the truths about how prevalent this problem is and to have people stand up against it, especially men.”

The average age of a sex trafficking victim in the United States is 13 years old and conservative statistics estimate that as many as 100,000 children are being sold for sex in the United States every day. “If you can imagine two professional football fields filled with 13-year-old victims, that’s how many children are being trafficked every day, an unbelievable amount,” said Ashlie Bryant, Executive Director of Run For Courage. “We want to build this social movement to stand up against Modern Day Slavery and are thankful for this extraordinary team who are helping us to carry that message as they ride.”

Bryant added, “We were thrilled to work with this dedicated team. Run For Courage generates awareness about this crime based on large-scale events like 5 and 10K runs, so it was a natural fit to engage with this team from NMR Architects.” As a result of this awareness campaign and fundraiser, Ryan, Deven, & Kyle raised over $3,500 leading up to the two-day ride, all of which went to directly support Run For Courage in their mission.