More in Community:
By Sara Beth Williams–
Under the canopy of leafy shade trees, tucked behind the softball fields at the C-Bar-C Park picnic area off Oak Avenue, neighbors from across Citrus Heights ventured out to enjoy free food and activities at the National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 2.
The event drew over 350 attendees according to Glenn Miller, a board member with the Citrus Heights Area Seven-Eight-Nine neighborhood association, also known as CHASEN. Children and adults of all ages could be seen in attendance, with some younger attendees riding scooters and bikes, while others carried balloon swords and animals. Still others stood in line for hot dogs and snow cones.
Operations Commander Kris Frey of the Citrus Heights Police Department expressed the importance of National Night Out, saying it’s “a good opportunity for the community to get to know the law enforcement officer(s), but it’s also a great opportunity for us to meet everybody out in the community as well.”
Frey said there were eight total events scheduled Tuesday night in Citrus Heights and explained that CHPD officers and City Hall staff, including council members, the mayor and vice mayor, make it a priority to disperse themselves among all the celebrations throughout the evening.
“It’s an opportunity to get out and engage with the community, and really get to know the people that we’re serving,” said Frey.
Organizations like the Underground Clothing store, DeMattei Real Estate Team, Pet Owners Organization of Citrus Heights which maintains the C-Bar-C dog park, Kiwanis Club of Citrus Heights, a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group, and others, set up booths along the path and provided activities for kids.
Cindy De Beer, coordinator for Mothers of Preschoolers and Moms Next, said the event provides a great opportunity for their organization to meet local moms who are looking for a place to connect as moms. “[It] brings community together who don’t normally hang out together,” she said.
Many teenagers volunteered to help serve food, from both the Kiwanis Club and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Citrus Heights Ward. Jeremy Lapointe, 46, said the church always tries to find ways to do community service and estimated they brought 20 to 25 youth to volunteer at this year’s event.
“This brings the community closer together,” Lapointe said. “It gives you that feeling of closeness of family that you should have in a community.”
Miller, the CHASEN board member, called the event “wonderful,” and credited individual participants for bringing the event together. The event included a performance from the Citrus Heights Community Marching Band, as well as participation from a Cub Scout color guard at the opening of the evening’s activities.
Many local organizations also donated prizes to give away at the end of the evening’s festivities, including gift baskets and Letterman jackets
“Everybody out there, they are the heart of Citrus Heights,” Miller said, reflecting on the event and its business sponsors and participants.
National Night Out began in August of 1984 and occurs on the first Tuesday in August. The national campaign was instituted to help foster a positive sense of community and togetherness between neighbors and law enforcement.
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