Drama Heats Up Over Firefighters Refusal to Hand Out Missing Girl Flyers During Separate Charity Event

Lindsay Baum, an 11-year-old from McCleary, went missing 18 months ago on her way home from a friend's house. Her mother has been blanketing the town with flyers and searching everywhere for a clue of where she might be ever since. But when she asked the McCleary Fire Department to help her hand out flyers during an upcoming charity event they put on that benefits a different family, the firefighters said "sorry, can't do it." Now folks is pissed.

The event in question is called "Santa Through Town," and it includes a parade, decorated fire engines and lots of candy canes being handed out, with money being raised to benefit a single sponsored poor family.

Baum wanted the candy canes that the firefighters hand out to be wrapped in rolled up flyers with Lindsay's picture on it.

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Lindsay Baum, missing since June 26, 2009
The firefighters rationale for refusing to do such a thing is that it would take away focus from the family that they are sponsoring. They say they'll gladly hand out info and pictures some other time.

The story, reported Wednesday by KING 5 has led to quite a battle between those who agree with the firefighters and those that think the Baum family is in the right. Both sides have good arguments, but only one side has the better one.

First off, it would be impossible to fault Baum for wanting the firefighters to hand out flyers. Most mothers would likely be asking the entire city worker staff to hand them out 24 hours a day.

And one can also understand why the firefighters wouldn't want to be perceived as snubbing one poor family by making their event about another grieving family as well. But that perception would likely be sparse at most. And unless the slightly modified candy canes would somehow hinder the fund raising abilities of McCleary's bravest, it seems impossible that the needy family being benefited by the parade would be any worse for it.

Besides, if the firefighters really don't want to get involved with the Lindsay Baum search on that particular day, they can just let the girl's mom and a couple of her friends or family hitch a ride on the fire truck and hand out their own flyers. Problem solved.

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