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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Program offers Monett area parents some peace of mind

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Missouri Child Identification and Protection Program (MOCHIP), sponsored by the Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation and Monett Masonic Lodge #129 AF&AM, was held on Feb. 11. Three-year-old Sabrena Hensley is pictured above with her mother, Sara Hensley, of Pierce City, being fingerprinted by Alvin Zabala. [Times Photo by Lisa Craft] [Order this photo]
The Missouri Child Identification and Protection Program (MOCHIP) was hosted by the Monett Masonic Lodge #129 AF&AM on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Approximately 106 children attended to participate in the program.

The free event is held annually and is a comprehensive child identification protection program designed to provide families with a means of preparation if their child or teen becomes missing. The program is compatible with Amber Alert and theme park systems.

MOCHIP has been active for seven years, and this is the fourth year for Monett to participate.

During the identification process, information is collected from parents and entered into the computer. A picture, fingerprints of both hands, a dental impression and a DNA swab are taken from each child.

Once the process is completed, the parent receives a packet with the information on a mini compact disc, two laminated identification cards, the dental bite impression and DNA swab. The Masonic Children's Foundation retains no information concerning participants except a signed permission form.

The regional coordinator of the MOCHIP program of the Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation is David Collignon. Local event coordinator is Benji Oakley.

"If we can help only one child it is worth it," said Oakley, "and we will keep hosting the program at the Monett Lodge. I appreciate all of our volunteers including the Monett Lodge, Decatur Lodge and the Monett Jaycees."

Services are offered free of charge and are supported by Missouri Freemasons and other sponsors.

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