Letters to the Editor

Event promotes drug, alcohol awareness | Letter

Editor,

On behalf of the 2014 National Night Out Planning Committee, we are proud to announce that over 1,000 community members attended the 31st annual event on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Windjammer City Park.

The event was hosted by the Oak Harbor Police Department and sponsored for the first time by the Oak Harbor Lions Club. Food vendors supplied barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers, lumpia, pancit, snow cones, ice cream bars, kettle corn, cups and skewers of blueberries and marshmallows, and plenty of beverages for all who attended.

Despite the nearby construction, there was plenty of room and the event was well received.

This event would not be possible without the participation of service organizations and businesses from Whidbey Island and beyond. We appreciate the people who donated time and energy in support of this important community outreach.

The goal of Oak Harbor’s National Night Out is to promote crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships in keeping the people of Whidbey Island safe, and send the message that crime will not be tolerated in our towns.

We thank all the vendors who provided fun and interesting crafts and activities, including face painting, balloon animals and hats, trivia games, Japanese art, raffles, and freebies to the children and families who came.

The summer temperature did not deter various mascots from dancing, hugging and entertaining children of all ages.

Making appearances were Smokey the Bear by Oak Harbor Fire Department; Sparky the Dalmatian, sponsored by North Whidbey Fire Department; Crime Pup by Oak Harbor Police Department; and the Dancing Lion by Oak Harbor Lions Club.

Congratulations to both the Oak Harbor police and fire departments for raising more than 1400 pounds of food. An added bonus was the special appearance of Odie, the miniature donkey, provided by Officer Jennifer Gravel with Oak Harbor Police Department.

A special thanks to the law enforcement agencies, fire departments and the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station for providing demonstrations, up-close viewing of working vehicles and equipment.

There were many service booths providing support information on nutrition, family preparedness, youth substance prevention, academic education, anti-bullying and vehicle safety.

Also, thanks to our Oak Harbor Public Schools’ representatives, who provided registration information and tours of their new “green” school bus; to the Whidbey Island Bicycle Club, who provided Safe Bike Routes to School; to the North Whidbey Lions Club, who sponsored the free Health Screening Mobile Unit; and to the Whidbey Cruzers.

A special thank you to our wonderful community volunteers, Oak Harbor Police explorers and Oak Harbor City employees, who lent their time and energy before, during and after the event.

This annual event is a night for our community to stand together to promote drug and alcohol awareness, safety and unity against all forms of crime. National Night Out showcases the fundamental importance of police partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer community.

We look forward to bringing the 32nd fun-filled and exciting event in 2015; we hope to see you there.

National Night Out Coordinators were Police Chief Ed Green, Captain Teri Gardner, Officers Jennifer Yzaguirre and Reserves Officer Kristal Kania of the Oak Harbor Police Department; Oak Harbor Lions Club members Christy Green, Bill Cheaqui and Sharon Ryan.

Sharon Ryan and Christy Green,

Public Relations Chairpersons,

Oak Harbor Lions Club

 

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