MONTCLAIR, NJ -- It was a sunny day in Montclair's Brookdale Park for Breaking The Chain Through Education's Summer Kickoff 5k Walk and Run event.

"This is our first annual Brookdale Park 5k run," said BTCTE founder Evan Robbins. "We're hoping to have a lot of fun on a beautiful day."

BTCTE is dedicated to eradicating child slavery in Ghana, Africa. As a grassroots organization with a mission to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate children who have been trafficked, BTCTE supports and improves access to education, ensuring the children's continued safety, health and security. BTCTE also provides seed money and micro-grants to African families to lessen the grip of poverty and help stop the cycle of trafficking.

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BTCTE enjoys sponsorship from numerous local businesses and organizations, including New Jersey's North Essex Chamber of Commerce. "Part of the mission of the North Essex Chamber is to have an impact on the local community," said Mike Daniels of the NECC. "If you really want to have an impact on other people," he said. "We highly recommend getting involved in local non-profits. The need is more than ever."

The 5k attracted hundreds of runners and walkers, along with dozens of volunteers to support the event. "If you want change... you don't always have to pay to do it," said volunteer and community activist Dwayne Wilkins. "We have plenty volunteers out here," he said. "We're all neighbors, whether we're right next door to each other, or across the planet - seeing people are hurting around the world, and if we can do something about, then we should."

For more information about supporting Breaking The Chain Through Education, visit their website: www.BTCTE.org