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Eureka Lodge No. 302 Registers 350 into the CHIP Program

On June 16, Eureka Lodge No 302 of Mechanicsburg conducted one of the most successful community programs in the lodge's 149-year history.

As part of the 77th Annual Jubilee Day street fair, recognized as one of the largest one-day street fairs in the United States, 25 members and volunteers of Eureka Lodge registered nearly 350 children at the Mechanicsburg's Annual Jubilee Day using the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania's Child Identification Program ( CHIP)

The Masonic CHIP Program is the most comprehensive service of its kind anywhere. CHIP is provided free of charge to the public and all of the identifying items generated during CHIP, including fingerprints, video and photo disks, are given to the child's family.

CHIP addresses the alarming fact that over 1,000,000 children are reported missing in the United States each year. While most are found, many are not, and the abduction of children is both under-reported and rapidly increasing in our society.

CHIP provides parents and guardians the means to quickly get vital information to emergency responders. The digital video on the mini CD is compatible with the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System.

The program was staged at 36 West Main Street in Mechanicsburg at the Habacivich and Associates American Express building, which was generously donated to Eureka Lodge to use during this event.

"We knew that this would be a perfect occasion to reach a lot of children and families," says Eric Joyner, Worshipful Master, Eureka Lodge No 302. "And we were absolutely right."

"We started with the first child at 10:45 a.m., and continued, non-stop, until nearly 8 p.m." adds Joyner. "People were lined up out the door and onto the sidewalk, but everyone was happy. As a father of three, I know it is worth the wait to have this important record available in case I would need it. I think the families who stopped by to see us would say the same thing."

"People tend to think of Jubilee Day as a large collection of vendors," says John Arnold, a director of the Mechanicsburg Chamber of Commerce. "But there are even more non profit organizations who come to this event each year and do their part to make this area a better place to live work and play." This year's Jubilee Day, welcomed more than 240 vendors and 60,000 guests.

"You just don't appreciate how much of an impact this kind of program can have until you make it available to the community," adds Joyner. "This was a very good thing for the community, and for Eureka Lodge."

For more information on how to plan a similar CHIP event, visit the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania's CHIPwebsite here.

If you have questions about the success of Eureka Lodge's CHIP program, email Eric Joyner at: joyner5@verizon.net.

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