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Child identification event returning to Eastfield Mall

SPRINGFIELD -- Masonichip International, a program that helps law enforcement find and identify missing children returning to Eastfield Mall, along with Shriners Hospital, on Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 pm. to educate families about the importance of identification preparation and burns prevention. "The CHIP Child Identification Program and burns awareness event is such a good tool for area families, especially those with young children. We're expecting it to be our largest event yet, and we're pulling out all the stops with the help of Masonichip International, to educate our community in a fun way," Howard Vincent, chief of the Melha Shriners Burns Brigade, said. The CHIP program allows parents the opportunity to create a free kit of identifying materials for their child. Some of these items include a dental imprint, DNA sample, fingerprint card and the child's physical description and the choice of a video, computer disk or DVD of the child. The kit gives law enforcement the critical information needed if a child ever does go missing. The whole process takes a little more than a half hour to complete. During the event, children will be able to put together their own child identification kits, Sparky the Dog will be there, an exhibit of fire trucks from local fire departments will be on property and representatives from Shriners Children's Hospital will work with area fire marshals to spread the word about burn prevention through some fun activities. "We're looking forward to hosting an event that really benefits everyone; parents, children and the community as a whole in such a fun and interactive way," said Eastfield Mall general manager Melinda Graulau. Masonichip International has worked in collaboration with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children since 2004. There are more than 113,000 children missing in the United States today, from the ages of six to 11 years old. This program has issued an estimated 1.5 million parents with these child identification packs from over 15,000 events similar to the event being hosted at Eastfield Mall on Oct. 9. For more information visit http://www.eastfieldmall.com or call 543-8000.

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