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Heat Didn't Hinder National Night OutBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Wednesday, August 02, 2006
North Adams - Hayley Peters, 8, and eight-year-old Kimberly Loring sat outdoors on the Masonic Temple Church Street lawn under the cover of a shade tree, elbow-deep in a slippery "goo."
|Hayley Peters, 8, of North Adams, enjoyed a "goo" table at an Aug. 1 National Night Out event.
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What Heat Index?
"The goo, oh, my God, when you squish into it it's like a suction cup," said Hayley.
"It's all mushy," said Kimberly.
The over 90 degree Fahrenheit air temperature and a well-publicized heat index of over 100 degrees did little to curb the enthusiasm of the two girls or an additional about 150 people who participated at an Aug. 1 National Night Out event sponsored by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.
Seven-month-old Joe Onorato appeared to be having a good time at National Night Out.
"I think it's going really great," said Mary Parkman, the NBCC United Neighboring Interdependent Trusted Youth [UNITY] program coordinator.
Parkman was stationed at a Safe Homes booth that featured a guessing game; children who guessed the amount of candy in a tall glass jar without going over the correct amount won the sweets-filled decanter.
"The candy seems to be popular," Parkman said with a smile.
Positive Police Presence
National Night Out has been a nationally recognized event for 34 years and was launched as anti-crime, pro community initiative. Law enforcement agencies are often included in the event as a way to promote positive community-police relationships. Members of the Berkshire County Probation Department and law enforcement officers from several area agencies hosted a large information booth.
Mary Parkman staffed a Safe Homes booth that offered a "sweet" game.
City police Officer Jason Wood and his specially-trained Golden Labrador Retriever police dog "Diva" delivered a demonstration of canine drug detection. After a successful demonstration, "Diva" was treated to a round of appreciative applause and numerous youthful hugs.
In addition to the Berkshire probation and city police department, officers of the Williamstown and Adams police departments, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Campus Police Department, and the Massachusetts State Police attended the event. Members of the North Adams Fire Department and the North Adams Ambulance Service
participated at the event as well.
Police dog "Diva" was showered with affection from young friends.
Bike Helmet Giveaway, Free Cook-Out
A free cook-out served hamburgs, hot dogs, soft drinks, and other foods to the guests. Cooks included Nick Mantello, Greg Onorato and Darrell English. Kate Merrigan was among the volunteers who kept a steady supply of cold beverages at the ready.
Numerous games and activities, including face-painting, were available and a water table proved very popular with children. When asked what her favorite event activity was, Ashley Wheeler, 8, said "Playing in the water."
A variety of prizes, including gift certificates, were awarded as part of a free raffle.
Ashley Wheeler beat the heat at a water table.
The raffle included distribution of about 50 free bicycle helmets sized from small to large. The helmets were purchased through a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, said Kathy Keeser, community events coordinator for the NBCC.
National Night Out sponsors included Target, which also set up a staffed booth at the event, and Carr Hardware, which donated two canopy-style tents to provide additional shade for the event.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 802-823-9367.
|A big pat on the back for the Masons who did the cooking by the hot grill. Good job guys.|
|from: Albert||on: 08-03 00:00:00-2006|