Neighborhoods get together for National Night Out
King City friends and neighbors don't let sizzling temperatures spoil their fun
National Night Out is always held on the first Tuesday in August, and this year on Aug. 5 neighbors in several King City neighborhoods held potlucks or other get-togethers despite the scorching heat.
The purpose of the event is to heighten awareness of crime and drug-prevention, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships, and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
On a cul de sac off King James, Wendy and Bob Marchant invited their neighbors to a Mexican-themed potluck; while they have hosted gatherings before, this was the first time that the Marchants celebrated National Night Out with their friends.
On a cul de sac off Prince Albert, Fae Lloyd, who moved to King City a couple of years ago, was hosting a potluck in the shade of a house, making the temperature more comfortable for everyone.
Most of the neighbors sat in a big circle to chat and have easy access to a variety of food and drinks spread out on a long table by the curb.
"I tried to think of everything," Lloyd said. "I have a party once a month for the neighbors, but National Night Out is the perfect time to do this. King City has so many cul de sacs, which are the perfect place to hold these events.
"This is such a great turn-out, and the majority are from right around here. People called me as late at 5:30 to say they were coming."
Over on Prince Edward Court, Mary Thibert was hosting an ice cream social in her driveway under a big blue tarp to ward off the sun.
Thibert was very organized, with a table set up for people to sign in and sheets of name tags color-coded for each nearby street.
"I sent out 57 invitations, and we have a good turnout," said Thibert, who chose the perfect food to serve, as a bowl of ice cream really hit the spot on such a hot day.
King City police officer Ernie Happala made it around to all the events and enjoyed talking to residents during his shift, which was not a bad way to spend an evening.
At Lloyd's gathering, residents reminded Happala of the various calls he had made to their neighborhood in the past and filled him in on what had eventually happened to the people, while he shared a story or two.
National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada, has been held annually since 1984.
The National Association of Town Watch is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of various crime-prevention programs, including neighborhood watch groups, law enforcement agencies, state and regional crime prevention associations, businesses, civic groups, and individuals, devoted to safer communities.
The nations premiere crime-prevention network works with law enforcement officials and civilian leaders to keep crime-watch volunteers informed, interested, involved and motivated.