Bike Ride From Washington State To Florida Keys Raises Awareness Of Sex Trafficking

Silent Bridge, a Washington-based nonprofit that fights sex trafficking, has a supporter who is biking more than 5,000 miles from Blaine, Washington on the Canadian border to the Florida Keys. The #Bike4SilentBridge ride is self-funded with a goal of spreading awareness of sex trafficking and to raise at least $50,000 for Silent Bridge.

James (who only goes by his first name) has biked more than 1,500 miles. On day 25 of his ride, James crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and turned inbound. On day 32, he crossed the California-Nevada state line and went into Utah towards Colorado. His route will take him on the TransAmerica Trail through Kansas, Missouri and Illinois until he reaches the Underground Railroad Trail in Kentucky. From Kentucky, he’ll cut south through Mississippi before reaching Florida via the Southern Tier Route.

James is a retired father and grandfather. He visits local restaurants, bike shops and campgrounds on his ride, as well as organizations fighting trafficking in their local jurisdictions. To donate and see his journey, visit or his Instagram page @bike4silentbridge.

Win A Trip To The GMA Dove Awards

CCM Magazine and UMC Global Ministries are giving away two free tickets for a lucky couple to fly to Nashville, Tennessee for the 53rd annual GMA Dove Awards on Tuesday, October 18. The Dove Awards honors outstanding achievements and excellence in Christian and gospel music.

The couple will receive round trip airfare to Nashville, two nights hotel stay, two premium tickets to the GMA Dove Awards and a $200 gift card for ground transportation during the trip. The contest allows entering once each day through Monday, September 5 by completing bonus entry options.

The 53rd annual GMA Dove Awards will take place at Allen Arena in Nashville. Enter to win at

Lauren Daigle Announces Five Additional Performances For Fall Tour

Two-time Grammy Award winner and multiplatinum selling artist Lauren Daigle has announced five additional performances for this fall, adding to her previously announced two-night special engagement at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. The exclusive shows will feature Daigle’s extensive catalog of her award-winning Christian music.

Of the five new dates announced, three are in Florida, including in St. Augustine on Wednesday, November 2 and Thursday, November 3 as well as in Hollywood on Friday, November 4. For other tour information and to purchase tickets, visit

Gospel Singer Leaves America’s Got Talent Judge In Tears Following Inspiring Performance

America’s Got Talent (AGT) judge Sofia Vergara was left with tears in her eyes following an inspiring performance on the talent competition show by 33-year-old Nashville, Tennessee-based gospel singer Ben Waites. During the July airing of AGT, Waites performed a rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” a song Waites — a Southern gospel singer and vocal coach — said is about hope.

“The message of the song, I feel, is able to speak to people no matter their age, their race, their background. It’s able to communicate a message of hope,” said Waites. Born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and bound to a wheelchair, Waites offers hope through the message of Christ.

Vergara cried, expressing how powerful the performance was.

“I’m carrying a lot of weight on my shoulders over it, not in the sense of being overly nervous or caring about winning,” said Waites. “That stuff doesn’t matter to me. What I’m more concerned about is appropriately and effectively showing the Gospel of Christ through this opportunity.”

For more information, visit

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.