Our Goal and Mission
“More eyes looking means more children found and brought home” – Dennis Bair
The BairFind Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the goal of getting the public involved in the search for missing children. We do this by attaining high profile and long-term visibility of missing children’s profiles and spreading awareness about the problem of missing children today and how the public can get involved in the solution. The BairFind Foundation was built on the simple philosophy that “more eyes looking means more children found”.
“I can’t’ is idolatry. If the Almighty helps us, we can change the world. And if He doesn’t help, we can’t do anything.” – Rabbi Noah Weinberg
A brief history of our organization
The solution came to our founder, Dennis Bair, when he was a minor league pitcher with the Chicago Cubs. Dennis spent many years in baseball stadiums, and he realized the power of these venues in the search for missing kids. As he looked at an autographed poster of Steelers great and 4-time super bowl champ, Rocky Bleier, he realized that if the profile of a missing child would be inset in that poster, he would have kept it for years and would never have forgotten that child’s face. We started out by having poster giveaways at minor league baseball games, between 2001 and 2010, with inset missing children profiles. In 2011, we launched our “BringHome100” campaign, in which we presented the challenge of bringing 100 of our featured children home. That same year, BairFind became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and forged a brief partnership with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who provided a full page ad in their 2012 season game program as well as space in their stadium for our very first concourse sign, that was affixed to a stone wall near the right field rotunda entrance. Rocky Bleier, whose picture sparked the revolution to find missing children, was also added to BairFindʼs board of directors as our Vice President.
In 2012, Bleier along with Pittsburgh Pirates star second baseman Neil Walker and longtime Pirates broadcast announcer Steve Blass, recorded a public service announcement that was featured on the big screen at Pirates home games, directing fans to the concourse sign and program. The Pittsburgh Steelers also donated a concourse sign, marking BairFindʼs entry into one more high profile professional sports league. On July 2, 2012, Corey O’Connor and the Council of the City of Pittsburgh awarded the BairFind Foundation with a proclamation announcing July 2 as “BringHome100 Day”.
A major breakthrough occurred in 2013 in a kidnapping case involving a young woman named Gina DeJesus, who was featured on BairFind’s website and stadium signs for many years. Dennis and his helpers had been working closely with the DeJesus family in their search. Gina, along with two other women were successfully rescued from a Cleveland home, in a story that became national news for weeks. Dennis Bair was featured on several local Pittsburgh television and radio stations, newspapers and online blogs. Our newest partner is the family of Jacksonville, FL missing boy Mark Degner, whose photo is featured on our concourse sign at the Jacksonville Suns’ stadium, and in ten additional stadiums along the East Coast of the United States.
During the 2014 and 2015 seasons, BairFind launched its Concourse Sign Project, placing wooden A-frame signs featuring local missing children in 40 MiLB stadiums throughout the Florida State League, Southern League and New York-Penn League, with an additional request coming from the South Atlantic League. As a result of our project’s effectiveness and overwhelmingly positive reception by league presidents, team GM’s, front office personnel and fans, BairFind was named an Official Charity Partner of Minor League Baseball at the 2015 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. We have been given the special designation of “Homegrown” charity, based on Dennis’ playing career, and having originated our program in the Minor Leagues. AMI Graphics, the Official Stadium Signage Supplier to Minor League Baseball, has teamed up with us to create our signs. To date, more than 300 of our featured children have been successfully located and brought home, and our Concourse Sign Project is now implemented in 139 Minor League Baseball stadiums across the country, garnering over 40 million views on missing child profiles. BairFind also relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, and in September of 2016 was awarded a Jacksonville City Council Resolution introduced by Councilman Bill Gulliford, honoring and commending our efforts to search for and find missing children nationwide.
Included in our future endeavors, the BairFind Foundation looks to provide leadership in the development of education and prevention programs, and the use of technology to further public engagement in bringing and keeping more kids home. As our founder says, “When a child goes missing, we should not look away out of fear. We should recognize it as a challenge, and do whatever we can to take part in the search, and rise to the challenge of safely locating the child.”
“Dennis Bair has created something that is absolutely inspiring. BairFind is the wave of the future in the search for missing children. He will most definitely find missing children.” – Dennis Esken, Foremost Baseball Glove Expert (featured on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”)
Where It All Began
We started out by having poster giveaways at various minor league baseball games with inset missing children profiles.
Every Missing Child Counts
Since the year 2010, over 100 of our 500 featured children have been successfully located and brought home.
So Much More to Achieve
We look forward to continue bringing children home and reuniting families of lost children.
We Stand with Families
We stand with families & keep profiles of their missing children out in public view to increase the chance of them being found.
More Eyes Looking
More eyes looking means more children found. Our Concourse Sign Project is now implemented in 139 stadiums around the country.
Stars Shine Brightly
Steelers football star Rocky Bleier, whose picture sparked the revolution to find missing children, is BairFind’s Vice President.
It always seems impossible until it’s done
Our Network Map
Look for our concourse signs in select stadiums
Our Latest Participating Teams
Part of the Concourse Sign Project
Your donation brings children home
Please help us in our search for missing children by making a donation to help us construct new signs. Every dollar you pledge helps in finding another missing child and bringing comfort to their family.
What people say
Together, anything is possible
You continue to give us the hope, because we feel we’re not the only ones fighting. We also feel there’s other people out there and it was you who also fought with us, and the parents need to know this. They’re not alone. There is somebody always out there.
Nancy RuizMother of Gina DeJesus
I am impressed with your efforts and results! ALL children, runaway or abducted are important. Wonderful work, Dennis. Thank you.
Mark KlaasPresident, The KlaasKids Foundation
As Major League baseball players, we do tons of autograph sessions. Wouldn’t it be great if through those autograph sessions we could help find a missing child! BairFind can help us do that!
Justin SpeierFormer Major League Pitcher
The power of Bair’s photos shouldn’t be underestimated.
Michael O′KeeffeNew York Daily News Reporter
Dennis Bair has created something that is absolutely inspiring. BairFind is the wave of the future in the search for missing children. He will most definitely find missing children.
Dennis EskenForemost Baseball Glove Expert, featured on ESPN
What strikes me as most significant is Dennis’ dedication to helping children in need. Dennis has leveraged his experiences as a professional baseball player to aid children who have been abducted by creating BairFind.