Pleasantville, Absecon prepare National Night Out celebrations

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Submitted/Absecon’s National Night Out celebration offers something for everyone and has become one of the area’s largest. Submitted/Absecon’s National Night Out celebration offers something for everyone and has become one of the area’s largest.

Whether you live north or south of Route 30, there’s a National Night Out celebration worthy of all of the summer-long anticipation.

The Pleasantville and Absecon police departments along with municipal organizations are each sponsoring separate National Night Out celebrations on Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Pleasantville’s celebration runs 5-8 p.m. at New Hope Commons Park on Woodland Avenue.

Absecon’s observance follows from 6-9 p.m. at the Pitney Road soccer field off of Crestview Avenue.

Both events are free and open to the public.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Night Out featuring events held across the country.

National Night Out was founded to bring community members together to fight crime through greater awareness, and increased prevention methods. City officials and police personnel hope that National Night celebrations help bridge a better relationship between law enforcement and the community it serves.

Pleasantville

“We’re bigger and better than ever,” says Harriett Westbrook, Pleasantville’s National Night Out celebration chairperson.

“We will have more venders and we have more support than we’ve ever had,” Westbrook said. “We’ll have bouncy rides, free food and fun for everybody.”

Pleasantville’s National Night Out celebration usually draws a crowd of 500 people along with members of the school district, city government, police and fire departments. However, this year’s crowd could be even larger.

“We’ve got people coming from all over, because it’s a big event for families” she said. “National Night Out gives neighbors a chance to go out and meet each other. Friends, family and neighbors can all enjoy a peaceful night together.”

Lisa Capers, who has performed on Broadway, will sing the National Anthem, Westbrook said. The Pleasantville High School Marching Band and the Platinum Dancers will also perform. The High School JROTC will carry the flag.

Members of the Gentlemen at the Shore motorcycle club will prepare and distribute the food, Westbrook said.

Westbrook said the following companies and individuals have provided sponsorship support for Pleasantville’s National Night Out celebration: Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, Atlantic County Sheriff, Pleasantville police and fire departments, Atlantic City Electric, AtlantiCare, Friend of American Engineering and Sciences, Neighborly Needs, Mothers in Charge, ACUA, Atlantic Cape Community College, Caring Adult Heath Care, Graves Church, Prime America, Junior Jokers Football Organization, The 0 HEAAT Foundation, Boys Scouts of America, Atlantic County Division of Public Health, New Jersey Hope and Healing, Press of Atlantic City, Gentleman of the Shore, Pleasantville Envisions Pride and Prosperity, Kingdom Academy, Greater Works Ministries, Family Services Association, Shore Beauty School, Retired FBI Agents, Unleashed Rydaz Gentleman Club, CASA for Children, Commission of the Blind and Visually Impaired, S.H.E. Inspire, Women’s Center, Bethlehem Evangelical Outreach Ministries, Southern Jersey Family Medical Center, ALCOVE Center for Grieving Children and Families, Empowerment Tabernacle, Atlantic Professional Resources, Johnny D’s, Gary’s, Jo-Jos, Herr’s Foods, DeMario Design, Admiral Automotive, WTTH 96.1, Pleasantville Public Schools, Mino’s Bakery, Sam’s Realto, Dr. Thomas Miller, Canada Dry, American Water, and Wawa.

Absecon

The Absecon Police Department and the city Municipal Alliance sponsor a celebration that includes fun for the whole family and draws more than 400 people of all ages every year.

If you like fire trucks and helicopters, you’ll like Absecon’s National Night Out celebration.

The Absecon Fire Department, which recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, will have its equipment on display along with equipment provided by the police department. The Medivac-5 helicopter will conduct a fly-by, according to Absecon Lt. John DeRitis.

The famous “Dunk-a-cop” dunk tank returns as well as a K-9 demonstration in tracking and explosives detection.

Other attractions include bounce rides, D.J. Ron Bailey, face painting artists, and

food will provided by the Absecon Municipal Alliance.

The Toys for Tots organization will accept donations of an unwrapped toy for the area’s needy children.

Also, many organizations will offer information booths as well.

“I may run out of room,” DeRitis said. “There are so many groups that requested a spot.”

In additional to displays offered by members of the emergency services, more than 20 organizations have requested room for setting up displays, DeRitis said.

“It’s all in response to Hurricane Sandy,” he said.

Organzations that used to come to National Night Out but stopped have decided to return, he said.

They include the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and Family Services and ServicePro.

Absecon’s National Night Out celebration is such a wonderful time because Absecon’s such a tight-knit community, DeRitis said.

National Night Out means a lot to the members of the emergency services community.

“It’s huge,” DeRitis said. “National Night Out allows the people in our city to get to know us on a personal level.”

Behind the badge, there’s a real person with the same feelings and emotions that they have, he said.


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