2009 National Night Out coming Aug. 4

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Plans are being finalized for the third annual National Night Out scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 6-9 p.m. at Greencastle's Robe-Ann Park.

This event would not be possible without agencies, organizations, volunteers and sponsors that support our efforts to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. Our target population continues to be families with children in elementary and middle school. We wish to acknowledge the Greencastle Park Board for their support in making this event a smoke-free evening.

The committee has been meeting since January to ensure another great event for the community. We've confirmed over 40 agencies and organizations will be participating in reaching out to the youth and their families in our fight to build a safer nation.

Volunteers will be located around the park directing families to the registration tables to pick up bracelets and receive information about free refreshments (Domino's Pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones and drinks) and participation in the raffle. Your bracelet will also serve as a free pass for swimming at the Greencastle Aquatics Center from 7-9 p.m.

Raffle items include a family sports pass for 2009 -- 2010 from each Putnam County School Corporation; a 2010 family swim pass for a family of four to the Greencastle Aquatics Center; Holiday World, Indiana Beach, and Plainfield Water Park tickets and school supplies.

The dunk tank continues to be popular. This year will feature familiar faces, with some new additions. We hope the students will take advantage of the opportunity to dunk their "Favorite Principal." The schedule is: 6-6:30 p.m., Stacey Baugh, (Principal at Cloverdale Elementary School); 6:30-7 p.m., Mike Culver, (Principal at Greencastle Middle School); 7-7:30 p.m., Debbie Steffy, (Principal at Central Elementary); 7:30- 8 p.m., Scott Spencer (Principal at Roachdale Elementary); 8-8:30 p.m., Terry Tippin, (Principal at North Putnam Middle School); and 8:30-9 p.m., Dan Bain, (Principal at South Putnam Junior/Senior High School).

Our new activities include a bounce house (sponsored by Community Partners), Pin the Badge on the Officer (sponsored by the Greencastle Police Department), Bicycle Safety Program, (sponsored by DePauw University Public Safety), Indiana Blood Center Mobile Unit, and a K-9 demonstration (sponsored by the Putnamville Correctional Facility).

Back by popular demand will be emcee James "Figgy" Hardwick of Fig's Folly's.

In addition to his emcee responsibilities, Fig will be judging a new event -- a Hula Hoop Contest.

Each child completing the Bicycle Safety Program will receive a certificate and raffle ticket qualifying them for the bicycle/helmet raffle. Bicycles will be available for children to use for the activity; however parents are asked to bring their son's and daughter's helmets if available.

Other agencies participating include Department of Child Services (corn-hole), Family Support Services, (duck pond), Mental Health America PC (traveling puppets), PC Head Start (pedestrian bus safety), PC Tobacco Prevention Coalition (smoker's roulette poster contest), PC Youth Development Commission (dunk tank), Johnson-Nichols Health Clinic, Purdue Cooperative Extension (4-H Program). PC Prosecutor's Office (stop meth program), PC Juvenile Probation (coloring contest), Greencastle Police Department (car seat safety), Roachdale Police/Co-Alliance (snow cones), Excise Office, Indiana State Police, PC Sheriff's Department (SERT), DePauw University Public Safety (ring toss), PC Community Corrections (corn-hole), Cloverdale Police, Greencastle Fire Department (smoke house/sparky), Bainbridge, Heritage Lake, Cloverdale, Madison Township, Reelsville Volunteer and Roachdale fire departments.

Look for us in the Fair Parade on Friday, July 17. The National Night Out Knight will be with us as we walk the parade route displaying our banner and passing out hand held fans advertising the upcoming event.

If you believe your organization/agency should be a part of this worthwhile event, or you wish to volunteer, please contact us. This is a night for America to promote awareness, safety, and community unity.

Linda Merkel and Tom Sutherlin are local NNO co-chairs. For more information on the event, call 653-9342.