More than 800,000 children go missing or are abducted each year in the United States, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Members of the Oxford Fire Fighters Union, International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 4763 are partnering with the 24th Street Sports Tavern in downtown Oxford and Detroit Lions to combat those scary statistics.
The event will include a car parade, which will begin at Old Detroit Burger Bar (4313 S. Baldwin Rd in Lake Orion) Saturday, Aug. 6 at 8:30 a.m. and end at the 24th Street Sports Tavern, located at 13 S. Washington in Oxford. It will be held in conjunction with the annual Lone Ranger Festival.
A car show will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. behind the 24th Street Sports Tavern following the parade.
All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase Child ID kits through the National Child Identification Program (NCIP), for students in the Oxford school district.
According to Oxford Fire Fighters Union President Kevin Snell, they’re hoping to raise enough in donations to provide an ID kit to every single student in the district. Firefighters plan to deliver the kits to schools this fall.
The NCIP provides child ID kits designed to aid parents, families and law enforcement in the event a child goes missing.
Each kit allows parents to collect specific information about their kids, such as physical characteristics and fingerprints, and place it on identification cards that are meant to be kept at home in a safe place. If ever needed, this ID kit gives authorities vital information to assist their efforts to locate a missing child.
The ID kit contains 80 percent of the information that would be requested by law enforcement about a child if parents were to report him or her missing. It enables parents to preserve an inkless fingerprint, photo, medical information, height, weight and a DNA sample.
“A child’s safety and security in this community is vital for all the residents,” Snell said. “We feel the (National Child Identification) Program is a wonderful program to have in the event of an emergency.”
According to Snell, parents don’t need to worry about the issue of privacy where the kits are concerned. He stressed the information would only need to be provided to officials in the event of an emergency, and would not be saved in any databases.
“I know that concerns a lot of people, registering your child, but this is an in-home safety kit only,” Snell said. “And in the event that your child goes missing, you then would give it to the local police and they would give it to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and then they could run fingerprints.”
Each kits costs about $2.75. Snell estimated the event would need to raise approximately $15,000 to $16,000 in donations in order to provide one to every single Oxford student.
According to 24th Street Sports Tavern Co-Owner Lindon Palushaj, the decision to join the firefighters in this endeavor was an easy one to make.
“There are so many cases of missing children throughout the U.S. and we’d hate to see something like that happen locally, but it’s always important to be proactive,” he said.
Palushaj said a wide range of vehicles will be allowed to participate in both the parade and the show that follows.
“It’s open to everyone, nothing specific as far as accepted car types,” he said. “We’ll have everything from exotics to classics to some nice muscle cars. The point of all this is to try and get as much support for this cause as possible.”
Prizes for the event will include golf packages, autograph memorabilia, gift certificates, sports tickets and more.
For more information or on to register a vehicle for the parade/car show, please call the 24th Street Sports Tavern at (248) 628-1217.
Donations will be accepted at Oxford Fire Station #1, located at 96 N. Washington, or at the 24th Street Sports Tavern, located at 13 S Washington St. Please make checks payable to Oxford Firefighters Union with subject line “Child ID Program.”