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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Annandale communities come together for National Night Out

Firefighters from the Annandale fire station visit kids at a National Night Out event on Hirst Street.
Police officers, firefighters, and government officials went to as many National Night Out events as possible throughout the Annandale area on Aug. 6 to put a human face on crime prevention and public safety.

Officers from the Mason Police District had more than 20 National Night Out events on their schedule, and Braddock Supervisor John Cook planned to attend 10, and eat a hot dog or something at each one.

Supervisor John Cook at the Ravensworth-Bristow community's ice cream social.

The National Night Out event at the Annandale Shopping Center included a Hapmudo performance (above), along with demonstrations from Pro Maxx  Fitness, an outdoor movie, raffles, and displays from local businesses.
Civic and homeowner associations organized cookouts and potluck dinners to create a sense of community, because when people know their neighbors, there is a greater level of safety.

Mason police officers visit the National Night Out gathering in the Lafayette Village townhouse community in Annandale.
“National Night Out helps reaffirm the partnership between the community and police,” said Lt. Ronald Manzo, assistant commander of the West Springfield Police District at the Ravenworth-Bristow Civic Association’s ice cream social. “It takes a collective effort to deter crime.”

Carl Iddings (left), president of the Lafayette Village Community Association, presents a plaque to outgoing Neighborhood Watch chair Fred Saah.
When Regina Nelson moved to Hirst Street off Little River Turnpike in Annandale, she found a lot of people didn’t know their neighbors. The community doesn’t have a civic association, so she organized her own National Night Out potluck on her front yard. She was pleasantly surprised by the large turnout, which included police officers and members of the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department, who brought a fire truck and ambulance for kids to explore.

Many neighbors met one another for the first time at the event, and now Nelson feels it’s a safer place. “That’s the whole idea of National Night Out,” she said.

Regina Nelson and her son, Gabe, a fifth-grader at Woodburn Elementary School.

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