Sultry temperatures did little to deter Red Oak residents from attending National Night Out — organizers estimate about 3,000 people attended last Tuesday’s eighth annual city-wide event.
“We had a huge turnout. That was more people than we’ve ever had by far,” said Red Oak Police Lt. Boyd Brock, event organizer. “That was the biggest one in the five years that I’ve done it.”
People flocked to Red Oak City Park to enjoy a variety of games and activities, watch performances by several local cheerleading groups, as well as a martial arts display, get a close-up view of medical helicopters and visit booths offering information on businesses and services. Booth rentals were up from 20, in 2006, to 28 this year.
“There were a lot of businesses that came out and supported us which was wonderful,” Brock said. “The city came together and showed a lot of community support.”
While the Red Oak Fire Department handed out junior firefighters badges and the Red Oak Police Department gave out junior officer badges, children clamored to see the inside of patrol cars and fire engines. Children also had the opportunity to have their fingerprints recorded, enjoy a large slide and ride a pony.
The Red Oak Lions Club once again took the helm of the barbecue pits, serving 1,000 hotdogs for hungry event-goers, with all food and condiments donated by the Red Oak Brookshires Grocery Co.
“There was a lot of good community support from everybody,” Brock said. “I feel like the community got a chance to meet the new chief — Craig Rudolph. They got a chance to meet all the police officers and the fire department personnel.”
National Night Out is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anticrime programs, strengthen the neighborhood spirit and police and community relationships and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Brock was impressed with the support from the local businesses and organizations in their donations toward the event.
“I’ve got a whole list of people I’d like to thank,” Brock said, saying that over $2,000 was donated toward the event. “I don’t think I’ve ever had so much donated.”
Those who donated toward the event included Century Label, Inc., Brookshires, Citizens National Bank, Knapheide Truck Equipment, Jefferson Bank, Exxon Tiger Mart, Subway, Knox Fuel Stop, Churches Chicken, Red Oak Valley Golf Club, State Farm-Don Hughes Insurance Agency, New World Realty, Red Oak Tire and Wheel, Appe-Teasers Catering, Michael W. Dickey, Linda Frazier of Jazzercise, One of a Kind Pony Party, Interstate Battery Racing, CareFlite, PHI Sky Med, At Once Rental, Carter Blood Center, Extreme Jump, Kwik Kar, Jack FM, Jody Dean, Aaron’s Designs, AIM A Enterprises, Inc., AA Golf Cars, Bailman Bond Co., Ben Goodwyn Agency, Blessings Art Academy, Bulldog Ironworks, Clearly Perfect Pools, Duramar Venus, Inc., Farmers Insurance, Happy House Day Care, Henry Building, J&N Wrecker Service, Pete’s Tires, Rainbow Paint & Body, Rawson Automotive, RE/MAX of Red Oak, Red Oak Funeral Home, Red Oak Insulation, Republic Mechanical, Speedway Food Mart, Thuman Realty and Tow-Pro Wrecker Service.