Three local nonprofit organizations, Joe’s Kids, The Baker Youth Club (BYC) and Court Appointed Special Advocate of Kosciusko County (CASA), announced “An Evening with Elizabeth Smart” has been rescheduled for Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center, Winona Lake.

The Kosciusko County Community Foundation and K21 Health Foundation are sponsors of the event. This event was originally scheduled for April 2020 but was postponed due to COVID-19, according to a provided release.

The abduction of Smart “was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time,” stated the release. Smart was abducted June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. The police returned Smart back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held a prisoner for nine months.

Through this experience, Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Smart testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction, stated the release.

The founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation,” Smart has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Smart has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book "My Story." In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivor’s guide, titled “You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.

Smart recently released a new book about what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on and reclaim one’s life. "Where There’s Hope" is the result of Smart’s mission.

Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband, Matthew, in 2012, and they now have three children.

Overcoming adversity is a key theme in Smart’s message, which resonates with Rebecca Bazoni, executive director of Joe’s Kids.

“Elizabeth’s journey is difficult to fathom, but her road to recovery is remarkable and inspiring. We are excited to partner together to bring Elizabeth and her story of hope to our community,” Bazoni said.

Erin Rowland Jones, executive director of CASA of Kosciusko County, said, "We are thrilled to be bringing such a strong speaker and advocate to our community, along with Baker Youth Club and Joe's Kids. Elizabeth's story of strength and survival is one that can bring hope to everyone, and importantly those that have also experienced abuse and trauma."

Tickets to the event are free and will be available to the public via links through the websites and social media channels of all three organizations (CASA, Joe’s Kids and BYC). Seating is limited and attendees will need a ticket for admittance. Smart will sign books after sharing her message. Elizabeth’s books will be available for purchase when tickets are reserved. Books may be picked up at the event. If you had previously reserved tickets for the April 2020 event, visit the Eventbrite site and reprint your tickets with the revised date. If you are no longer able to attend, you may release your tickets. If you had previously purchased a book and will not be able to attend the event, you may request a refund through the Eventbrite site.