HCN News & Notes

Seventh Annual Kids Safety Expo Set for July 25

SPRINGFIELD — According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, last year there were 466,949 entries for missing children under the age of 18 in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC). With July recognized as National Make a Difference to Children Month, now is the perfect time to revisit important safety lessons with children of all ages.

The seventh annual Kids Safety Expo will be held July 25 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame from 9 a.m. to noon. The expo will include new, educational and fun ways for parents and children to play it safe this summer.

The event is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of local businesses, including event organizers: Market Mentors, LLC; 94.7 WMAS; Sports Radio 1450 The Hall; and the Masonic Youth Child Identification Program (MYCHIP). Several free safety-themed giveaways will be provided for the first 600 attendees, including bicycle helmets compliments of AAA and Chicopee Savings Bank and reusable water bottles from Libbos Law.

Highlights of the expo include:
• Resources for lost or missing children provided by MYCHIP (Masonic Youth Child Identification Program): video ID; fingerprinting; dental impressions, in collaboration with the STCC Dental Hygiene Department; and DNA cheek swabs. The Masons of Massachusetts, partnering with the Mass. Crime Prevention Officers Assoc. and the Mass. Dental Association, donate MYCHIP resources to make this service available to the public. None of the information is copied and all the identifying materials are given to the child’s family;
• Free safety tools: babysitter reference guidelines; car seat safety information; Amber Alert overview; crib safety; and parental sex offender awareness tips;
• Fun for kids: A visit from a popular children’s movie character, the “Frozen Queen”; K-9 police dog unit demonstration; magician; Melha Shrine Clowns; Springfield Falcons, Valley Blue Sox and New England Revolution; visits from Ms. Massachusetts, and much more.

Sponsors and participants include: 94.7 WMAS; AAA Pioneer Valley; Baystate Health/Safe Kids; Berkshire Bank; BMC Healthnet; Chicopee Savings Bank; the “Frozen Queen”; Joseph Bongiovanni (magician); Libbos Law; Macaroni Kid; Market Mentors, LLC; Max’s Tavern; Ms. Massachusetts; MYCHIP; Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; New England Revolution; Sports Radio 1450 The Hall; Springfield Falcons; Springfield Fire and Police Departments; STCC Dental Hygiene Department; Turley Publications; Valley Blue Sox; and the Zoo at Forest Park.

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