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Trail Ride yields $700 for Project Lifesaver

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Despite rainy weather, approximately 40 riders turned out for Saturday&8217;s trail ride at Miller&8217;s Farm to benefit Project Lifesaver, yielding $700 from donations and an onsite bake sale.

The trail ride was just one of many fund-raising efforts to go toward the establishment of a county-wide division of the national rescue program, which helps to relocate people who may wander due to conditions such as Alzheimer&8217;s, autism or Down syndrome.

When fund-raising began in July, the Pilot Club&8217;s goal was to raise $7,680 to pay for training and 30 bracelets, which are the main component of the program.

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, but Pilot Club member Charlotte Owens said they are looking at purchasing more if the need arises.

With the funds they have secured so far, Owens said they are set to begin training Oct. 22, with six staff members of the Marengo County Sheriff&8217;s Department, one staff member from the South Marengo Search and Rescue Squad, one staff member from the North Marengo Search and Rescue Squad, one policeman from Demopolis Police Department and two members of the Project Lifesaver committee of the Pilot Club.

Owens said nearly all of the municipalities the committee has visited have contributed funds to the project, including $2,000 from the City of Demopolis. They also received support from civic clubs, one church and one business. Owens said there are still four or five more places to visit before their fundraising efforts will come to a close.

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 one hundred percent recovery rate. The most recent search on Sept. 29 in Roanoke, Va. retrieved a mentally-retarded client within 15 minutes of his or her disappearance.

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