UPDATE: Elizabeth Smart event moved to Barron High School

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- The community of Barron is looking to move forward following the Jayme Closs case with the help of survivor and child safety activist Elizabeth Smart.

Smart is set to speak in Barron free of charge on Friday, March 15th.
Due to an overwhelming response, the Barron County Sheriff's department has moved this event to the Barron High School Gym, instead of the Barron Area Community Center, so more people can be in attendance.

Smart was abducted from her bedroom in 2002 at knifepoint and kept for nine months before being rescued.

The Barron County Sheriff's Department hopes Smart's experience will help show the community and Jayme that while the event changed her life it doesn't have to define her.

Brenda Flatland from Barron says she believes the community will be interested in hearing what Smart had to say.

Flatland said, “She's a survivor and she's doing well I think that would be very encouraging for everybody to see that something positive can come from such a horrible thing.”

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says he hopes Smart's visit will provide insight into the next steps for the community after Closs was abducted from her home and held for 88-days.

“Elizabeth is one of the only people that I've been able to talk to that's had the same experience that we've had in Barron. If she could give us one tip on something we can do better, something we can do as a community to move forward I think that's great,” said Fitzgerald

Smart appeared on the Today show after Jayme was found she says she wants Jayme to know that the experience doesn't have to define her.

Smart said, "So I would want her first and foremost to know she did nothing wrong. She did absolutely everything right. She survived. That's amazing.”

The sheriff's department also says since Smart and Jayme share similar experiences she may be able to guide the community in a better way than what they're currently doing.

Fitzgerald added, “We're going to forward whether that's from me or from Elizabeth or whoever can move this community forward back to that small town community that we are, we're going to be stronger than this, and I think this is the first step in probably many steps to bring us together, bring us closer and move forward at the same time.”

The event is scheduled to be held Barron High School.
It is set to take place from 6:30pm to 7:30pm next Friday. It will be a free event and open to everyone.

BARRON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Barron will be holding an event called Moving Forward with Elizabeth Smart next week. This event is open to the public.

Author / Speaker / Survivor
Elizabeth Smart
Moving Forward with Elizabeth Smart.
Friday, March 15th. 6:30pm-7:30pm
Barron High School
Doors open at 6 pm. Free of charge

In 2002, Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City bedroom at knifepoint by street preacher Brian David Mitchell, who came in through an open kitchen window. Smart was kept for nine months before being rescued.

Smart is now a child safety activist and when the news broke of 13-year-old Jayme Closs' safe return she said she wanted Jayme to know that even though this has changed her life it doesn't have to define her life. "So I would want her first and foremost to know she did nothing wrong. She did absolutely everything right. She survived. That's amazing,” Smart added.