If you are new to Chillicothe, or even if you have lived here all of your life, do you know where to go to find out about community resources that are available locally?

On Saturday, Nov. 3, the community is invited to participate in the Project Connect Resource Fair. This free event will be held at the Calvary Baptist Church Family Life Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

More than 55 exhibitors are scheduled for the first Project Connect Resource Fair in Chillicothe. A wide range of exhibitors will be on hand representing a variety of service areas, such as senior services, food pantries and food ministries, dental, medical and mental health, service clubs, and career and employment services to name a few.

There will also be free blood sugar and blood pressure testing, hearing screenings and door prizes. A variety of speakers and entertainment will occur throughout the event, including Grand River Harmony Chorus, John "Corky" Hesler, Mike Hibner, Harry Wyse and the Honorable Mayor Chuck Haney.

The steering committee has teamed up with the local Chillicothe Masonic Lodge, Friendship Lodge No. 89 AF & AM, to host the MoCHIP — Child Identification and Protection Program to Chillicothe during the fair free of charge.

"No parent wants to believe that the unimaginable could happen to them, though nearly 2,000 children are reported missing or abducted in the United States each day," stated Jessica Trussell, human development specialist with the University of Missouri Extension in Livingston County. "The peace of mind MoCHIP provides to Missouri families is invaluable."

The program consists of five major components — digital photographs, digital fingerprints, vital child information and emergency contacts, a dental bite impression, and two laminated ID cards. The photographs, fingerprints, and child data are burned onto a mini-CD that is compatible with the Amber Alert system already in place. The dental impression provides a virtual diagram of the child's biting surface, which, like fingerprints is unique to each individual, and further supplies enough saliva to provide a DNA sample that can also be used as scent source for trained canine search teams.

"Combined, this five-part process provides a dramatic, time-sensitive recovery tool for authorities," Trussell said.

On the day of the MoCHIP event, parents are urged to gather pertinent information such as doctor, dentist and emergency contacts and phone numbers; allergies, medications and parent work, cell, and assorted phone numbers. As would be expected, security and privacy are of utmost importance. All information and specimens are collected on site, processed and provided to the parent or legal guardian in a yellow envelope. At the end of each event, databases are erased using state-of-the-art software. The only item retained by the Masonic Children's Foundation is the signed permission slip. Parents/guardians must attend the event in order for a child to participate. If a child has participated in the MoCHIP program in the past, please bring the CD as it will decrease processing time.

"We encourage all Livingston County residents to come to the event and to see all that this county has to offer," Trussell said.

The Project Connect steering committee is made up of representatives from Community Options, Green Hills Women's Shelter, Livingston County Victims Services, North Central Missouri Mental Health Center, SALT Center, Saint Luke's Home Care and Hospice, United Methodist Church and University of Missouri Extension.

Blue Level sponsors for the event are Consumer Direct, Indian Hills Retirement Village, Hedrick Medical Center and Royal Oaks Hospital. Corporate sponsors are Clark's Furniture; Constitution-Tribune; Lockridge, Constant & Conrad LLC; and Sensenich Jeweler.

For more information, please contact Karen Hinton, Livingston County Victim's Advocate at (660) 646-8000 ext. 215 or Jessica Trussell, MU Extension Human Development Specialist, at (660) 646-0811.