After the December 2009 death of Cape Breton’s James Delory a group of Prince Edward Island moms started a discussion on how to prevent this from happening to their children, who like James had autism and were prone to wandering. Hearing that Nova Scotia recently implemented a program called Project Lifesaver this group of moms travelled to Nova Scotia to meet and talk with the representatives of the Project Lifesaver Association of Nova Scotia to see if this would be a good fit for PEI. After hearing about the program and the immaculate record for tracking, recovering and bringing loved ones home this group of moms decided this was the right program to pursue for the Island and their loved ones.
The first year of the journey was spent raising money for the start up cost including the training and equipment. Within that first year of the Tracy MacKenzie Walk/Run for Autism (the signature fundraiser for Project Lifesaver PEI) the funds were raised, the Prince Edward Island Ground Search & Rescue were presented the information of the program and were asked to be the emergency response team who would support it.
The following year the program went through “incorporation”, pursuing a charity number and the coordination of the 2 day training session. This consisted of the trainers from the Nova Scotia agency travelling over and training our agency not just on how to use the equipment and tracking clients but also educating the volunteers on the different dynamics of alzheimer’s, autism, down syndrome and dementia. Since that weekend in November 2012 Project Lifesaver PEI Inc has been busy preparing the necessary documentation, advocating for funding for future clients, educating and informing other interested organizations, and eagerly getting ready for the next 2013 Tracy MacKenzie Walk/Run for Autism.