National Night Out set Aug. 4

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Representatives from businesses, organizations and agencies in Putnam County have been working since February to prepare for next week's National Night Out event. Tuesday was the final meeting to put together the final touches. (Banner Graphic/Sabrina Westfall)

The ninth annual National Night Out will feature free events, food and face-to-face interaction with community leaders.

The event is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 5-8 p.m. at Robe-Ann Park in Greencastle.

National Night Out Committee members have been working since February to bring another successful event to the community. Tuesday was the last official meeting of the committee before next week's festivities. Coordinator Linda Merkel, who serves as the Putnam County Youth Development Commission executive director, explained the importance of allowing the community to spend time with first responders, businesses and agencies from Putnam County.

"Our mission is to bring awareness to the dangers of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and the power of saying 'no.' Additionally we encourage youth to not be afraid of interacting with community individuals who have a strong desire to see children grow up safe and healthy," Merkel said.

Upon arrival at the event, families must visit one of the two registration tables to get a wrist band before participation. Families with children in elementary and middle school are encouraged to visit with volunteers.

There will be more than 40 agencies, businesses and first responders participating.

The event will feature many activities, including free swimming from 6-8 p.m. available for all who attend. Raffle prizes will also be available.

The rookie run with local law enforcement will be featured again this year, in which participants will be able to connect with local law enforcement.

"We are a member of the National Association of Town Watch, which includes being partners with local and state law enforcement. This allows our event to connect through the rookie run. Children have the opportunity of running side-by-side with a local officer the entire route and are presented with a nice surprise as they cross the finish line," Merkel said.

Food this year will include hot dogs, pizza, apples, popcorn, snow cones and drinks. All activities and food are donated and the evening is available at no cost.

A bingo game is a new addition this year, which will provide each family receiving school supplies.

"Families comment frequently how much they enjoy the evening as a kick off to back-to-school. The school supplies we share brings a smile and comfort to so many families in need," Merkel said.

The rain date is Thursday, Aug. 6. Call the Putnam County Youth Development Commission with any questions at 653-9342.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: