National Night Out was a big success again this year judging by the number of people who attended and the comments I heard. We live Tweeted the event so I hope you tuned in. It was also a success among our own personnel when I looked around and saw how many of our police personnel volunteered their time to work the event – before and after their work shifts and people in on their day off.
We couldn’t do this event without the support of other city departments – in particular Senior Services and Recreation, Karen Adcock and Brian Marzolf. There are many others to thank too: our department volunteers who set up and clean up; our community organizations who come in to introduce themselves to folks attending like the Rochester Auburn Hills Community Coalition, the Auburn Hills Library and many, many others; Oakland County Parks and Recreation for the fun stuff; Faurecia who sponsored the Kona Ice truck and the many, many bags of chips we hand out; our partners in public safety, the AH Fire Department and their smoke house(an interesting safety opportunity if you haven’t seen it); other neighboring police departments and Great Lakes Crossings Security were there. Our Department of Public Works brought their heavy equipment demonstration and loaned us stuff we needed. Fieldstone Golf Course for loaned us golf carts. Our retirees have taken over the hot dog grilling operation as their own and were assisted by the local Masonic Lodge who stuffs those hot dogs in those buns so we can hand them out to all those hungry folks.
Thanks to our co-sponsor, our local Target store who brings people and prizes that we raffle away. What a great group who demonstrate the spirit of the event –community partnership both locally and as representatives of Target Corporation, the national sponsor.
Our local business community steps up: Home Depot has given us a barbecue grill to raffle for several years running; our hotels give one night stays and restaurants give gift cards. Some of the mall stores gave us gift cards to raffle some pretty cool stuff.
And the Avondale High School drama group who presented an awesome skit that demonstrated how important it is to “See Something, Say Something” encouraging our community to work with us to prevent crime and violence. They were great!!!
Thank you to our department leads on this event: Officer Metter Smith, Officer Chris Mahon and Police Service Officer Nick Krystiniak.
So many people to thank I know I’m forgetting someone –if I did forget you–forgive me–and accept my heartfelt thanks. We’ve been doing this event for 16 years and it never gets old. Whatever we had leftover in food we donated the next day to Haven, the local shelter for women and children. One of the officers who delivered, Chris Mahon, told me that there was a small boy outside the shelter when they arrived to deliver the food. Chris said the boy’s excited reaction was a thrill for him too.
And unexpected things happen, Officer Farah Hilliker, a Moroccan-American, told me that she didn’t know that our community had Moroccan-Americans until she heard them speaking in their native language as they were watching the demonstrations and raffle. She spoke to them in Moroccan and introduced herself. They were surprised and pleased to learn that she is a member of the department.
Join us next year – it is always the first Tuesday evening in August.
Here are some pictures from the event: