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‘Keeping Our Girls Safe’ looks to replace fundraising lost due to coronavirus

The annual “Sierah Joughin Memorial Ride," the non-profit's largest fundraising effort, was canceled due to COVID-19.
"Keeping Our Girls Safe" is looking for new ways to raise donations after canceling its biggest fundraising event in light of the coronavirus.
"Keeping Our Girls Safe" is looking for new ways to raise donations after canceling its biggest fundraising event in light of the coronavirus.(WTVG)
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 10:25 PM EDT
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FULTON COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - A local non-profit is looking for new ways to raise donations after canceling its biggest fundraising event in light of the coronavirus.

Josh Kolasinski is the president of “Keeping Our Girls Safe,” a non-profit that provides self-defense classes to women and girls across our area.

“There’s a lot of things we have had to cancel which is always frustrating,” Kolasinski said.

Kolasinski created the non-profit five years ago in memory of his then-girlfriend Sierah Joughin, who was abducted and murdered in Fulton County in 2016.

“Everything we do is because of Sierah,” Kolasinski said. “She was put in a situation where I personally don’t want anybody to go through ever again.”

Keeping Our Girls Safe or “KOGS” has helped provide two-hour long self-defense classes for more than 1,400 women and girls.

“We go to schools, we have some basketball teams and groups of girls, and we bring the instructors to you,” said Kolasinski. “I think the information that is given in these classes is second to none.”

The annual “Sierah Joughin Memorial Ride” is the non-profit’s largest fundraising effort. It was set for August 2, but it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“That day we usually raise right around $40,000 dollars,” Kolasinski said. “Every bit of that goes straight into our self defense classes with two highly qualified instructors.

“It is stressful looking at next year saying, ‘OK, if we do start back up with classes, we are already behind the eight ball there.”

Kolasinski says they are now looking at other ways to raise funds and hold self-defense classes virtually.

“I don’t want to stop the KOGS education process,” said Kolasinski. “I will continue to try and get the information out there, so whatever avenue that is we are going to take it.”

That is why he spearheaded the “Keeping Our Girls Safe Virtual Fundraiser Raffle,” an online fundraising effort set for September 2.

To continue sharing Sierah’s memory, KOGS has created five banners placed at five different locations in Lucas and Fulton Counties that are important to KOGS. The community is asked to visit the banners and take pictures to share on Facebook using the hashtag #rememberingce.

Banner locations include:

• Evergreen High School

• Metamora Park

• Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

• Toledo Harley Davidson

• Lathrop Park

To purchase a ticket and for other ways to donate, visit kogsafe.com.

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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