By Andrew Martins
PLUMSTED – An event designed to bring first responders, local organizations and residents together for an evening of fun and safety awareness will take place for the first time in Plumsted on Aug. 2.
The New Egypt Fire Company, the Plumsted Township Police Department and the New Egypt First Aid Squad will host Plumsted’s inaugural National Night Out event from 6-9 p.m. at New Egypt High School, Evergreen Road.
“(Commissioners from) the fire district talked about doing something so that everybody could understand what the township’s emergency services do here,” volunteer fire commissioner John Paolo said. “We work hand in hand with the police department … and what we want to do is have an evening where we can open up to the public and let them know what the town has to offer.”
According to the National Night Out website, the event was created more than three decades ago by the National Association of Town Watch in an effort to “promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie, and to send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized.”
National Night Out is traditionally held on the first Tuesday of August and is celebrated in communities and at military installations around the world.
Paolo, who led the effort to bring National Night Out to Plumsted, said a lack of information about who protects the community and what programs and resources are available to residents has been a concern in recent years.
“A lot of people go to Jackson because it is such a huge town and they think, for example, ‘oh, well, Jackson has a Boy Scout troop,’ well, they have one here, too,” Paolo said. “It kind of saddens me, because organizations like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have decreasing cookie sales and participation.”
Guests at Plumsted’s National Night Out will be able to purchase various items from vendors and speak with representatives of organizations who will promote future activities. Information about how to get involved in the community will be a primary focus for most of the organizations that will be on hand.
Police will provide an equipment showcase and a demonstration by the department’s K-9 unit. The fire company and EMS squad will display their capabilities as first responders.
Township representatives will be on hand to promote upcoming events and to discuss ongoing issues in the municipality. Local businesses and organizations that are expected to be on hand include Laurita Winery, New Egypt Speedway, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
New Egypt Marketplace will provide a “fun bus” offering activities for children. Food will be cooked and served by the New Egypt High School Warrior Booster Club. A DJ and an inflatable bounce house, donated by the fire company, will provide entertainment.
Representatives of local organizations that are interested in participating in National Night Out may call John Paolo at 609-758-3920 or 848-992-2833 for more information.