The National Night Out is a community police awareness raising event in the United States, held the first Tuesday of August. When Sarah Wilcek and Jennifer Popp, members of the non-profit organization Rice Women of Today heard about this event they sprang into action.
With very little time to plan, they contacted Chapter President Jean Skroch and other chapter members of Rice Women of Today, Rice Chief of Police Ross Hamann, the Rice Firefighters Association and other local businesses to set something up. With the Rice Women of Today acting as “hostesses” advertising went out for a free community picnic at the Lions Building and Park.
A light meal and refreshments were provided and the Rice firefighters brought the new fire truck for the families to see and the kids were allowed to tour. Hamann and Patrol Officer Suzane DiMaggio-Boom were on hand to visit with everyone and let the kids sit in the patrol car, as well as running the lights for them.
“The number of families that came out to get to know their neighbors was truly amazing,” said Shelli Struzyk, a member of Rice Women of Today. “It was also a great time for them to interact with the local police department and firemen. The weather held out for a beautiful evening, with the park facilities being utilized by a number of children to its full extent. The Rice Women of Today is looking forward to making this an annual event and with more time to plan believe it will get bigger and better every year.”