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Upcoming Project: Cold Case fundraiser asking the public to 'opt in'

In addition to fundraising, the event will also offer 100 free DNA kits to encourage people to 'opt in' to help solve cold cases.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Coming up this month, Project: Cold Case will be holding its 5th annual Year of Hope fundraiser.  

The money will go towards supporting families of unsolved homicides by keeping a spotlight on the cases and providing support groups for families so their loved ones are not forgotten. 

This year, the fundraiser will also have 100 DNA kits available from Innovative Forensic DNA for attendees that want to participate in the Upload for Justice campaign. It's a movement in response to law enforcement being opted out of several public databases, which put the brakes on several cold case investigations.

Upload for Justice encourages users to check the box that would allow law enforcement to use their DNA to solve murders. 

"They are really having a hard time getting those numbers back up and we see this campaign as an opportunity to bolster those numbers. While these participants are probably not going to solve their own loved one's murder, it's an opportunity to help another family," tells Ryan Backmann, Project: Cold Case founder.

There will also be food and drinks and a silent auction. The Project: Cold Case Year of Hope fundraiser will be Jan. 25from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Hardage Giddens Oaklawn Legacy Lodge event center.  It's free and open to the public. 

.You can find out more or sponsor or contribute by clicking here.