VSU's Baird tees it up for a good cause - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

VSU's Baird tees it up for a good cause

January 6, 2004

Valdosta-Briny Baird, former Valdosta State all-American and a member of the university's athletic hall of fame, has once again partnered with Canon4Kids in 2004 to bring the plight of missing children to the attention of millions of Americans.

Canon4Kids was created by Canon USA Inc. to help locate missing children across America.

On the PGA TOUR, Canon has partnered with Baird and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to put a missing child's digital photpgraph on Baird's golf bag during every tournament he enters.

His golf bag will also promote the the phone number (1-800-THE-LOST) for people to call if they recognize the child or have any valuable information.

The children in the Canon4Kids program are selected by NCMEC. Golf fans who want to get a closer look at the missing children's photos will be able to view them on PGATOUR.COM all year long.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates nearly 800,000 children are reported missing annually, more than 2,000 each day.

One of six children featured in NCMEC's nationwide photo-distribution network is found directly by people who see the photographs and then contact authorities.

An additional fundraising component of Canon4Kids is tied to Baird's performance on the PGA TOUR.

For every birdie Baird makes, Canon will donate $100 to NCMEC. Each eagle is worth $250 and $1,000 is donated for every hole-in-one.

In 2003, Baird scored 418 birdies and 13 eagles, adding up to $45,050.

 Baird, who was the individual medalist in the Division II national tournament as a junior and senior at Valdosta State, ranked 22nd on the 2003 PGA TOUR money list (more than $2.2 million) and ranked second in greens-in-regulation.

 His best finish was second in the 2003 Buick Open.

He had seven top 10 finishes and finished in the top 25 16 times, making the cut in 24 of the 31 events he entered.

Canon4Kids creates awareness about child abduction and the need to have updated digital photos of children.

Canon4Kids also educates parents on ways to protect children and prevent them from becoming victimized.

Among the Canon4Kids initiatives: .Raising more than $1 million for NCMEC child recovery programs through the annual Canon Celebrity Golf Challenge.

This year's event will be held Saturday, January 10, Tournament Players Club at The Canyons in Las Vegas.

Creation of public service advertisements with the photos of missing children for national newspapers and magazines.

.Donations of digital cameras, scanners and printers to law enforcement to help quickly disseminate photos and information nationwide to locate missing children.

Sponsorship of NCMEC's annual Hope Awards Benefit and Congressional Breakfast in Washington, D.C., to commemorate National Missing Children's Day and recognize law enforcement officials and others who have contributed to the recovery of missing children.

Distribution of a tip sheet explaining how digital photos can help protect children.

The 2004 expansion of the program to include Canon locations and activities across the country.

posted at 4:45pm by roberth@walb.com