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2012 | Cell Funds, AAFLC and Albertsons Collection Drive
Simi Valley fundraiser to benefit nonprofit that rescues missing children.

By Alicia Doyle
Posted August 29, 2012 at 4:22 p.m., updated August 29, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.

Read more: Ventura County Star

When John Salinas’ 8-year-old daughter was abducted in 2010, he received valuable help from the American Association for Lost Children.

“She was gone for 18 months — the worst time of my life,” Salinas said of his daughter, Leahlani. “They helped me rescue my daughter on June 24 of 2011. The team at AAFLC has forever changed my life.”

Salinas found the experience so positive that he became the director of operations for the West Coast program. He and Dino Glover, a director of fundraising, created an online effort to help the organization.

A fundraiser to benefit the group will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Albertsons, 5135 E. Los Angeles Ave. in Simi Valley. There will be a barbecue and games, with proceeds benefiting the association, which is an international Christian charitable group.

The nonprofit helps rescue missing and abducted U.S. children worldwide, Salinas said. It offers assistance in investigations, surveillance and the physical recovery of a child. The group has rescued more than 170 children, he added.

“It’s not just about putting a kid on a milk carton, said Glover, a former Simi Valley resident who lives in Sherman Oaks. “We are the only organization in the world that does hands-on rescues.”

“We’re a life support that brings these children back,” Glover said. “A child coming back to their loved ones means more to us than anything.”

Businesses in the community contributed help to make the fundraiser possible. Food, drinks and remembrance bracelets will be sold, Salinas said. The organization also is collecting new and used cellphones for recycling, with proceeds going to programs.

Organizers hope to raise at least $10,000.

“It costs $10,000 to $12,000 per kid,” Glover said, “and we need all the help we can possibly get.”

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