Volunteers reunite separated families at 92nd South Plains Fair - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/25/09

Volunteers reunite separated families at 92nd South Plains Fair

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By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Fun at the fair can suddenly turn to panic and fear if parent and child are separated and with those huge crowds, it can happen.

The food, rides, toys are all fun and all exciting distractions in the eyes of a child. In a split second you look up and notice your child is not by your side. There is one group of volunteers who are working at the fair to make sure you and your child are reunited.

"There are a lot of distractions," says Tamesha Eddington. You name it, and Nariah and Devinn Eddington want to go and do it. "One wants to play games and the other wants to ride and you just have to take turns to do it all," adds Eddington. She chases her daughter and nephew around the fair grounds just trying to keep up.

"I told them to stay by me at all times," says Eddington of her instructions before she arrived.

But what if you get separated from your child? Before you go to the fair the Lubbock Police Department says to make sure you know what your child is wearing so you can give them a complete description. They also say many young children only know their parents as Mommy or Daddy so make sure your children know their parents real names.

On average anywhere from six to eight children are separated from their parents each day during the fair - a number Eloisa Garcia knows firsthand.  "We're here to help," says Garcia. For three years she and the women of the First Apostolic Church have reunited parents with more than 65 children during the fair. "We tell them your parents will show up that they will come after you and they do." The women have coloring books and movies and say at times it can be emotional. "The children run to the parents and the parents run and often times they are more frantic than the children," adds Garcia.

Eddington says her four-year-old knows what will happen if she doesn't stay close. "We will have to go home and take a nap," says four-year-old Nariah.

LPD says the best thing to tell your child if you become separated is to look for a uniformed officer and they will escort the child to the Lost Child Building which is located on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

9/25/09

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