Masonic lodge sponsors child ID program 6.25

Written by David Green.

In the event that a child is taken from his or her parents, the Masons are increasing the likelihood that the missing youngster will be identified.

The Free and Accepted Masons from the Fairfield Lodge #125 are bringing the Michigan Child Identification Program (MICHIP) to Morenci Sunday in conjunction with the Town and Country Festival.

Children are invited to make their way through a series of stations—about a 10 to 15 minute period—to generate six forms of identification that parents take home, at no cost. None of the information is kept by the Masons.

Parents are urged to take the completed kit with them on trips and vacations.

The kit contains a dental impression; a DNA sample and trace scent for a canine search team, obtained by a cotton swab in the mouth; digital fingerprint impressions and photograph; and a short video/audio clip to record facial expressions, speech and mannerisms. The information is recorded on a CD.

“This is the first time our Lodge has become involved with the program,” said Carlos Garcia of Adrian. “The equipment is centrally maintained by the Grand Lodge and offered to any Masonic Lodge in the state of Michigan.”

State coordinators volunteer countless hours to each of the events around the state, Garcia said. Nationally, the Comprehensive Masonic CHIP program is used in nearly 20 states and is known as the most complete child recovery and identification program in the nation.

The program is supported by all Michigan Masons, Garcia said, although donations are always accepted.

The Morenci Kiwanis Club is assisting in the visit Sunday, known as Family Day at the festival. The identification program is planned at Wakefield Park from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

• The Fairfield Lodge is looking for other events in Lenawee County to sponsor the MICHIP program. For more information, call Garcia at 517/266-8470, Wayne Carpenter at 517/436-3570 or Larry Keller at 517/436-6269.

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