Rotary spearheads EZ Child ID System

By Madeline Otten, Correspondent

The Fluvanna Rotary Club is spearheading an effort to make it easier to identify children in case of an emergency.

A joint project with the sheriff’s office, the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, and the schools, EZ Child ID System will provide the materials and equipment necessary to facilitate child identification.

Parents of children participating in the program will receive a set of documents, electronically or on paper, that includes fingerprints, a photo, video emergency contact information and any health or dietary concerns parents may have about their child. That way if something happens to their loved ones, there is information available to assist in recovery and identification.

Susan Zachensky-Walthall, Rotary district governor, visited the Fluvanna Rotary Club at its Aug. 21 meeting and presented the club’s $3,500 donation check to Sheriff Eric Hess and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip.

The amount raised “really speaks about the community here in Fluvanna,” said Hess. The program dovetails with Rotary’s new theme, “Be the inspiration.”

Many jurisdictions throughout Virginia are already using this program. “This could provide the start of an ongoing system that would eventually have all of our school aged children registered within the next five to six years,” said Zachensky-Walthall.

The first-year goal for this project is to register all elementary school students. Fluvanna Rotarians then plan to offer EZ Child ID in conjunction with school registration at the elementary school in succeeding school years. The end goal is to have this program available to every child whose parents want it.

Zachensky-Walthall graduated from Old Dominion University, where she played four years of basketball and was captain of the team her last two years. Her passion for basketball led her to become a charter member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Her Rotary career began in California where she joined the Santa Rosa club for 10 years. In 2004 she was elected club president, but she relocated to Virginia prior to starting her term. She continued her love for Rotary by joining the club in Lawrenceville, where she has been a member for 13 years.

The Fluvanna Rotary Club was chartered in 2006 and is a local non-profit that provides services and scholarships to the local community. The club has assisted with Bright Start for Kids, which funds backpacks filled with all the necessary supplies for second graders to begin their school year each fall. Operation Warm Coats provides new coats to keep underprivileged children warm and comfortable all winter long. The Summer Camp Scholarship Program pays for children to attend the Fluvanna 4H camp at Holiday Lake in Appomattox.

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