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Dayton proclaims Saturday Missing Children's Day in Minnesota

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Saturday is Missing Children's Day in Minnesota -- part of a national effort to raise awareness of missing and exploited, The Associated Press reports.

Gov. Mark Dayton issued the Missing Children's Day proclamation, and events to commemorate the day are taking place all over the state. The nationwide event began in 1983.

Among the local events are Missing Children Minnesota's and the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center's "Make Noise for Missing People" gathering, which is set for Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joule business and event center at 1200 South Washington Ave. in Minneapolis.

According to the proclamation, more than 800,000 children are reported missing nationally each year, equating to about 2,000 children a day.

In Minnesota, state officials say 9,477 children ages 17 and under were reported missing last year.

The state says these children could be runaways, abducted by family members or acquaintances, or otherwise missing.

Most, but not all of these children are located within a matter of days, state officials say.

State Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Superintendent Wade Setter said Missing Children's Day "honors those children who have not come home and their families as well as the extraordinary efforts of those who work every day to find them" in a press release.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has child safety tips and more resources on its Take 25 Website.

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