By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: May 2013
President Jason Weis and Executive Director Kristin Weis, founders, represent The Demand Project, an organization working toward the eradication of sexual exploitation of children.
The Demand Project was founded by Jason and Kristin Weis. The organization directs efforts, resources and energy toward the eradication of sexual exploitation, with an emphasis on the exploitation of children. Whether it is victims of trafficking, forced prostitution, online enticement or child pornography, TDP’s mission is to end all sex crimes by targeting the demand side of sexual exploitation. “We want to stop sexual exploitation of boys, girls, and adult females,” said Kristin, “and we want to put an end to rape and forced prostitution.” TDP helps accomplish its mission through awareness projects, including education initiatives for parents, children, and communities; community action, including operating a Victim Tip Line and promoting legislation that strengthens current laws regarding sexual exploitation; and prevention measures, including Cyber Teams that research and document predator profiles and Community Survey Teams that collect predator network data.
Here are some alarming facts to ponder. The United States Justice Department has estimated that close to 300,000 American youth are currently at risk for becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Two-thirds of the sex offenders in state prisons committed offenses against children, and more than 747,000 registered sex offenders are in the United States today. In Oklahoma, at any given time of any day, there are 1,500 to 2,000 people downloading and trading child pornography on their computers. It is estimated that 55 percent of those arrested in Oklahoma for child porn are “hands on” offenders. Each year, more children in America are victims of sexual exploitation than there are people dying from car accidents and illegal drugs combined. Yes, it is happening right here in northeastern Oklahoma, in the Tulsa area, in our neighborhoods. Child pornography is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country according to the FBI, and an average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.
The Demand Project is funding Law Enforcement Task Forces that target sexual exploitation networks, and they are working with the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Human Trafficking (OBN), and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) to stop child porn and online enticement.
“We are establishing strategic working relationships with very specific law enforcement and that puts us in a unique position to direct funding to specific law enforcement agencies going after child predators across Oklahoma communities,” said Jason. Both Kristin and Jason are available to speak and teach about the dangers of pimps, traffickers and predators.
The Demand Project Golf Tournament is a fundraising event that will use proceeds to fund the Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force that is targeting Oklahoma predators in an effort to protect our state’s children. The tournament is a four-player scramble and is scheduled for Monday, June 10 at The Patriot Golf Club in Owasso. The Patriot features a diversity of terrain that is unique and awe-inspiring.
Team entry (four-member) is $1,000. Individual entry is $250. Registration, silent auction and lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. with tee off scheduled for 1 p.m. The awards ceremony will commence at 6 p.m. The tournament features multiple sponsor packages ranging from $250 to $2,500. They include Platinum and Gold Packages, Hole-in-One,
Closest-to-the-Pin, Longest Drive, Executive Hole, and Hole Sponsors. If you or your company or organization is interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Jason. Each golf ticket will include lunch, 18 holes of golf with cart, a practice facility, snacks and beverages, a player gift package, and attendance to the awards ceremony.
There will also be a hole-in-one prize that includes a 2013 Cadillac ATS Sedan with two-year lease, a set of new golf clubs, a golf vacation, and a Carnival cruise. The awards ceremony will feature two guest speakers, ICAC Director Steve Tanner and OBN Director Darrell Weaver.
The Demand Project recognizes and gives special thanks to major sponsors: The Vintage Pearl, Don Thornton Cadillac, ImageNet Consulting, Hertz, and Dino’s Tire & Wheel.
Duane Blankenship has spent his professional career in advertising and enjoyed nearly 30 years of employment with Cities Service Oil Company, Lowrance Electronics, and Zebco. He has been self-employed for nearly 20 years, producing advertising projects for clients in northeastern Oklahoma and from Washington State to Florida. His hobbies over the years have included multiple sports, hunting and fishing, boating, bicycling, horses and creating fine art pencil drawings. Duane has written nearly 800 business-related stories for Value News since 2005. He has an outgoing personality, enjoys meeting people and making new friends. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married 48 years. Both claim to be semi-retired, but enjoy remaining "plugged in" to their respective professions. They are both active in their community and church.