More than 2,000 Soldiers and their Families helped Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes celebrate National Night Out 2013 on Aug. 6. Every year, the attendance and community participation increases, and this year was no exception.
The national event, which has been observed for the past 30 years, is held annually on the first Tuesday in August. National Night Out raises awareness of crime and drug prevention and promotes neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. The event provides an opportunity for residents to meet fire department and law enforcement personnel to foster a commitment to safety in communities across the nation.
This year, Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes offered residents an evening full of safety and crime-prevention education as well as a bit of fun.
With the largest parade to date kicking off the event, community members watched as the 10th Mountain Division Band led the procession, which included floats from Mountain Community Homes and Jefferson County Dairy Princesses. Fort Drum fire and police personnel drove their vehicles, and a variety of characters for the kids, including McGruff the Crime Dog, Elmo, Mickey Mouse and Uncle Sam, marched alongside the floats and vehicles. The parade concluded at the Adirondack Creek Community Center.
Megan Klosner, director of property management, opened the evening’s festivities at the community center with a speech focusing on the importance of residents working with local emergency services to ensure a safer community for all.
“Of all the events Mountain Community Homes hosts for our Soldiers and Families, National Night Out is the premier event,” Klosner said. “It is an enjoyable evening that brings together our Fort Drum community with the goal of increasing awareness of safety issues in a very fun and festive atmosphere.”
With safety being the main focus of the evening, emergency service personnel were on hand to teach Soldiers and Families the importance of safety in the home as well as the community. Fort Drum Command Safety hosted the “Safety Town” bike rodeo, an obstacle course for kids of all ages that taught the importance of following road safety. Fort Drum Fire Department offered some hands-on fun, allowing community members to try on their gear and explore a fire truck.
The Jefferson County Police Department also helped parents register their children into the county database with their child ID kit program, a tool used to search for and find missing children.
Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes had its very own “Lights On Means Lights Out on Crime” booth where participants learned the importance of a well-lit community to deter crime.
In addition, a local band entertained the crowd as Soldiers and their Families enjoyed an inflatable play area, rock wall challenge and face painting.
Cools works for Fort Drum Mountain Community Homes