Galloway's National Night Out best ever (Slideshow)

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Melissa Millard and her family (L to R) 3-year-old twins Mason and Mackenzie and Parker, 4, all of Galloway enjoy Galloway's National Night Out on Aug. 5. GALLOWAY- Whether it was the oohs or the ahs while watching in amazement as a helicopter scooped water out of Patriot Lake, hovered and circled, or the huge smiles on the faces of them while taking a ride on a precious pony, children and their families had a great time at National Night Out on a picture perfect, breezy, warm night Tuesday, Aug. 5.

“We come out every year. It's great for the community,” said Linda Calimer, while holding her granddaughter Mikayla Heath, 3, both of Galloway. “My sons are both police explorers. We never miss National Night Out.”

“I want to go on the ponies and the slides,” Mikayla Heath told Calimer, and away they went.
Engines from the several volunteer fire companies were on display including ones from Bayview and Germania. Firefighters talked to people about fire safety and showed the different apparatus and even did a Jaws of Life demonstration. Galloway’s own K-9 Unit also wowed the crowd. Officer Scott Winneberger and his K-9 partner Rocky, showed an amazed gathering how Rocky could sniff out narcotics in the back of a truck.

Families perused over 150 vendors at the event held at the Municipal Complex at 300 E. Jimmie Leeds Road, including a farmer's market, a face painting tent and even a barber shop where people could get $5 buzz cuts. The dunk tank lead to some laughs and splashes.

Members of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office were also on hand passing out pamphlets and other items, as were members of the Police Explorer Post 276.

There was plenty to eat. People munched on hot dogs, hamburgers and crab cakes and for dessert grabbed a water ice. Music played just loud enough for easy listening.
Chief Patrick Moran said this year's National Night Out had the best turnout ever.

“Every year it gets bigger and bigger. The more people see the more they like,” Moran said. “It's a great time for the entire township. It's just a great night to get out and meet people.”

The chief credited Community Director Beth Stasuk, who was nonstop all night helping out and making sure everyone was happy, for organizing such a successful event.

Kerri Alexander wheeled her 15-month-old son Josh Alexander, both of Galloway, around in a wagon.
He was all smiles.

“This is such a great turnout,” she said. “We just came from watching the helicopter. Josh loved it.”
Kevin McDowell and his grandson Warner Sibley, 4, sat at a picnic table while Warner nibbled on a hot dog. Warner's sister Abbey Sibley, 10, strolled up with her grandmother, Carol McDowell, to say hello.

“It's really a lot of fun,” Abbey Sibley said. “I am going in the bounce house next.”
Her brother joked she was too big to go on the amusement ride.

“No I'm not,” she said, as they giggled and jetted off with their grandparents.
Melissa Millard waited in line for some fun in the bouncie houses, with son Parker, 4, and three-year-old twins Mason and Mackenzie, all of Galloway.

“It's just a great time for the kids,” she said.
Mayor Don Purdy and his wife Michelle came out with their pooch Bailey, for some fun.

“This night is what it is designed to be – getting people out in the community, seeing who some of our emergency responders are and having a good time. Our fire companies are all volunteers. They do so much for the community,” Purdy said. “They are on call 365 days a year 24/7. They miss out on family time. We appreciate them and the police. Tonight is about them and bonding as a community.”

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