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APRIL 25, 2008

Since 2005, Nodak Mutual Insurance Company has tag-teamed with the Fargo Police Department with its annual child identification event. And for four years in a row, event organizers have called it a success.

Over 1,050 kids went through the identification process April 19 at West Acres Mall. For the first time, Nodak Mutual and Fargo police partnered with DNA LifePrintTM of Davie, Florida, and provided parents with biometric fingerprints and a photo of their child, plus an at-home DNA kit. All of which was free to the public through Nodak Mutual and Fargo police's sponsorship.

"We feel a responsibility to give back to the community in which we live and work, " said Director of Marketing and Public Relations Joe Welsch. "It's an opportunity where we can be involved in such a worthwhile cause that impacts so many families. We're proud to co-sponsor this with the Fargo police."

Two staff members from LifePrint assisted Nodak Mutual and police volunteers in the fingerprinting and photo process. The event lasted over five hours and took place at a bustling West Acres which was brimming with shoppers in town for the Bon Jovi concert later that evening.

Parents didn't waste much time Saturday to get their DNA kit. For the first two hours, lines were long and weaved throughout the Sears wing of the mall. At times, the wait was over an hour long, but that didn't deter too many people. "Many parents approached us throughout the day and thanked us for providing this service," said Nodak Mutual organizer Beth DuFault. "I think parents were willing to put up with a little inconvenience for the end result."

DNA LifePrint was developed by Joe Matthews, a 30-year police veteran and lead detective who worked on the Adam Walsh case, the son of John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted. " Walsh has been a tireless child advocate and crime fighter. DNA LifePrint is the only commercial product he endorses. He was featured on televisions ads promoting the Fargo event.

A special thanks goes out to the Nodak Mutual volunteers: Jane Schock, Kris Haphey, Chris Peterson, Byron Klebe, Shawn Rampelberg, Amy Grossman, Joe Welsch, Hope Allen, Jason Weimer and Barb Walsvik.

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