Keir Lebeck, Worshipful Master of the Stuart Lodge, said, “This is the first time that we have been able to provide this free service and we plan to repeat it in the future.” Masonic members manned the stations and gathered the pertinent information, digital fingerprints and current photo of each child for their parent to keep on a cd. Parents also received a DNA swab kit and instructions how to collect and store their child’s DNA. The DNA sample will be active for about 6 months and then the process needs to be repeated.
Charlie White and Les Jones from West Palm Beach District #32 brought their district’s digital equipment for the day to help out the Stuart Lodge.
To insure the privacy of this critical information, the police do not retain the data and the data is expunged once the cd is processed. “This gives parents a very valuable tool to use in the unfortunate case that their child is abducted or lost,” commented member David Dees, who manned one of the three ID stations.
YMCA of the Treasure Coast President / CEO John Lass welcomed the Masons involvement in this year’s annual event. “This day serves to emphasize the Y’s commitment to children and families and the importance of youth development,”
Other activities included a fire truck and ambulance provided by the City of Stuart, a bounce house, pony rides, food and drink, finger painting, coloring, building projects, and tumbling demonstrations by the YMCA Sports World. Many other community organizations such as the Humane Society of the Treasure Coast, the Children’s Services Council and Florida Arts and Dance set up information booths.