Media & Public Relations

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Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

May 23, 2007


NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN'S DAY REMINDER: Turnpike Chief Encourages Memorial Day Travelers To View Missing Kids Posters at Turnpike Rest Stops

One in six children is recovered by a tip from an 'average citizen' who took time to look at a photo.

HARRISBURG, PA. (MAY 23, 2007) - In observance of National Missing Children's Day on May 25, Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier reminded travelers to look at and remember photographs of missing children on display inside Pennsylvania Turnpike rest stops.

    "Friday is National Missing Children's Day, and it's important for Pennsylvanians to be alert to the missing-children posters in Turnpike rest stops," Brimmeier said. "Please take a minute to look at their pictures, to burn their images on your mind; if you see one of them, call the toll-free number so that those kids can be reunited with their loved ones."

   The Pennsylvania Turnpike became the first transportation agency in the country to enter into a partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) when it began displaying missing children photos in service plazas almost 2 years ago.

   "We are proud of this affiliation with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children," said Brimmeier. "Every chance we get, we remind customers that they can play a vital role in recovering one of the more than 2,000 kids who are reported missing in this country every day."

   Brimmeier reminded travelers to call the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST if they believe they may have spotted one of these missing children. He pointed out that one in six missing children is recognized by members of the general public.

   "Pictures work," Brimmeier said. "If more people take the time to look at them, more families could be reunited. Whenever you pass a missing child poster, really look at it. Never be complacent about studying these pictures. One day, you might help bring a child home."

   May 25, 2007 marks the 25th National Missing Children's Day. First proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and observed by every administration since, May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. 

   In honor of the anniversary, a new child-safety campaign was recently launched by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The new campaign, "Take 25," encourages families to take 25 minutes to talk with their children about safety and abduction prevention. A website,, has been established for the campaign that provides 25 safety tips and other information for parents, guardians, educators and the public. 

   "We know that teaching children about safety works. It is important that parents and others take the time to talk to their children about these issues," said NCMEC President and CEO Ernie Allen. "The new campaign is designed to provide information to make it easy for parents and others to teach their children about safety."

   This summer, the Turnpike will host "Take-a-Break" safety events at selected rest stops, where Take-25 handouts and other safety-related information will be provided to travelers and their families. Visit for a list of Take-a-Break dates, times and locations.