Pilot Club Project Lifesaver fundraising efforts a success

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; In July the Pilot Club began its fundraising efforts for the national rescue program, Project Lifesaver, to help people in Marengo County who have Alzheimer&8217;s, autism, Down syndrome or who are nonverbal. Since that time, the Pilot Club has received $7,000 in pledges and contributions from communities and clubs all over the county.

She said their original fundraising goal was $7,680, but they have since learned the cost to implement the program will be less than they anticipated. This leaves them with extra money to purchase more bracelets, the main component of the program, for clients in the county.

These bracelets, or transmitter wristbands, emit an automatic tracking signal 24 hours a day which is used to help locate and identify a person who is registered through the Project Lifesaver program if they wander from home or their caregivers. The Pilot Club is looking at purchasing 30 wristbands to benefit potential clients.

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After they have a list compiled of who may be eligible for a wristband, the Sheriff&8217;s Office will decide, based on a priority system, who will receive the wristbands.

Owens said, if they have any extra money, they might look into purchasing signs that designate the area as a participant in the Project Lifesaver program.

Owens said they are set to begin training for the program in the near future, possibly by October.

Although they have secured funds for the training part of the program, Owens said the club is still going to municipalities and organizations asking for their assistance. They are also looking to put together a program for local businesses that may be interested in helping with Project Lifesaver.

In Alabama, 27 sheriff&8217;s offices, two police departments, one volunteer fire department and one coroner&8217;s office have become a part of the Project Lifesaver network.

Owens and her team hope to add Marengo County to the list of participants.

Since its inception, Project Lifesaver has conducted 1,554 searches with a 100 percent recovery rate. The most recent search on Aug. 19 in Jefferson County, Colo. Retrieved an Alzheimer&8217;s patient within 20 minutes of disappearance.

If you would like to learn more about Project Lifesaver, please contact Charlotte Owens at 334-216-9207 or visit www.projectlifesaver.org.