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July 3, 2003

Briny Baird


TODD BUDNICK: We'll just start with Briny kind of -- why don't you give a little comment on how you and Canon decided to be with us this year.

BRINY BAIRD: I've been with Canon since 99, and Canon was already donating money for the Center for Missing and Abandoned children, so since I was already with them, one of the guys from Canon came up with an idea to try to put the two together and they called it the Canon for Kids Program. They asked they if I would do it at the beginning of the year, what I thought about the idea, and obviously it's something that would be impossible to say no to, so it didn't take long to agree to do something.

They showed me what they wanted to do and it was easy. They send me a FedEx envelope every Monday in my locker as long as I'm playing that week and it will have a picture of a young boy or young girl, local to the area, and it just slides into the golf bag, into a sleeve in the golf bag, and it changes once a week, that's it. It doesn't change every day with a different boy or different girl. This week obviously is Ethan Hernandez, so he's been in the bag since Monday and he'll remain in the bag as long as I remain here.

Q. When did you meet Ethan's parents?

BRINY BAIRD: This is Ethan's mother right here. Five minutes ago. I just walked off the ninth green, which was my last hole.

Q. I was wondering if you knew much about the boy's story.

BRINY BAIRD: If you want to talk about it.

ARACELI HERNANDEZ: Well, I haven't seen my baby, he's going to be four, in three years now. Basically his father took him away from me. He had visitation rights, and one day he came to pick him up and he was supposed to drop him at a certain time, and he never came back. So since then I haven't seen my baby and it's been three years. I'm really desperate to find him. I miss him so much.

Q. Are you from Chicago?

ARACELI HERNANDEZ: This happened in Chicago right by my house. He went to pick him up at my house and that was in the Chicago area.

Q. And you've had no contact with your husband, you don't know where he's at?

ARACELI HERNANDEZ: No, it's like he just disappeared. I don't know where he lives. I've been trying to find out by his family because he used to live with his parents, and everybody just vanished. Everybody just left. I have no information, nothing at all, from them.

Q. What was your reaction when you found out that there is this program that will expose your child's picture to 20,000 or 30,000 people a day?

ARACELI HERNANDEZ: Actually I was really happy. I was like amazed that people try to help out the family to find their kids. I was so happy and I was wondering if they could really help me, and I'm really thankful to them that they've got my baby's picture so everybody can see it. Yeah, I'm really happy for that.

Q. Briny, do you have children of your own?

BRINY BAIRD: Just had one.

Q. So how does that impact your decision to be in this kind of a program?

BRINY BAIRD: Well, I agreed to do it before we had our child, and I don't think that it had that much of a factor as to whether or not I would have done it. That's all speculation, but I think I would have done it anyway. I know how kids or mothers are with their children and fathers are with their children. The bond is so big that for someone to have a missing child, if there's anything you can do to help, and I just happen to be in a position more than a normal person where people are going to pay attention to what I'm doing, take a look at me or my golf bag. It's so easy for me to do it.

You can see how it affects someone's life, hope, the promise of -- I've seen that kid before, anything. The phone number gets out there, 1-800-THE-LOST, if you ever see anything. It could not just impact this week's child, it could impact a child in the future that might not get kidnapped or might not get something bad happen to him just because someone knows the number and made a phone call real quick. It works both ways.

Q. You're out here to do a job, to play golf and to win tournaments, but does this help you keep everything in perspective personally, you and your family, your wife?

BRINY BAIRD: It definitely keeps things in perspective. I'm out there -- I played terrible today, struggled all day long. To sometimes look over -- it's sad when you look over and when you see -- not necessarily Ethan Hernandez but in previous weeks I'd look over and see the little girl or little boy that week, and then some weeks you look over and you think that's a great thing. It can motivate you. Let's just keep playing well. Might be this picture will stay in longer. Sometimes it works both ways. It never works out in a negative like this is sad and it brings me down. Like here I am sad because I just hit a pull hook in the woods, and there's missing children. It's tough.

TODD BUDNICK: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts....

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