Safety-proofing the Nevada State Fair

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Reno Salvation Army provides child ID wristbands at state fair.

by Carole Miller –

A long line keeps Reno Advisory Board member Mary Sanders (left) and volunteer Grace Soto busy during their shift.

Not as many children got lost at this year’s Nevada State Fair—five compared to eight in 2008—but even one is too many. This year The Salvation Army in Reno again handed out child safety ID wristbands to minimize the time that children were lost and to make it easier for fair security to locate the parents.

Of the five lost children, four were wearing ID straps and were quickly returned to family members. One 10-year-old boy lost his dad in the crowd not more than half an hour after putting on his bracelet. One little girl—not wearing a band—spent a while with a security guard looking for her mom. All five incidents had happy endings.

This is the fourth year the Reno Corps offered the free wristbands. Parents wrote a phone number on the strap—preferably a cell phone—and received a ticket with a matching number to the child’s band; then staff secured the band on the child’s wrist. If a child became lost, the parent could quickly be reached.

In addition, the Reno Salvation Army offered written instructions on how parents can create a DNA Collection Kit for their child, including fingerprints, a hair sample, and photo. No one likes to think his or her child will get lost—or worse yet, abducted—but a DNA kit gives law enforcement an edge in case such an incident occurs.

Army volunteers strapped on more than 1,000 identification bands during the fair’s five-day run.

Salvation Army takes post during Station Fire

Salvation Army takes post during Station Fire

Volunteers man canteens at fire training facility and emergency shelters

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Magic words yield fruit…and veggies!

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