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East Longmeadow to celebrate fifth annual National Night Out

Date: 8/1/2011

Aug. 1, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW — The town of East Longmeadow is once again preparing for the National Night Out (NNO) event.

The NNO, celebrating its 28th year, is designed to be an opportunity for residents to get to know and be comfortable with their local first responders, such as police and fire rescue personnel as well as strengthen community bonds.

“Every year this is a great thing for the town,” Police Chief Douglas Mellis said. “It offers a safe environment for people to get to know their public safety personnel.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the town’s first NNO event, which has been hosted every year on the first Tuesday of August.

This year is no different, with the NNO scheduled to kick off on Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. and run until 8 p.m. at East Longmeadow High School near the rotary band stand next to the athletic fields. Mellis was sure to credit officers Joseph Barone, Stuart Strohman and Donald Cavanaugh for putting this year’s NNO together, especially with the uncertainty regarding the scheduling of the event.

He explained that short notice for this year’s event stemmed from uncertainty surrounding the scheduling of the athletics renovation project that includes the football field and the American Legion baseball playoffs. However, the timing of both allowed the NNO to proceed as planned.

A number of local and state personnel will be on hand to talk to residents, answer questions and offer public safety demonstrations. As usual, several civilian community groups are also expected to participate.

“We look forward to having many area churches present, as well as social and fraternal groups. There will be a visit from the Massachusetts State Police canine unit, a LIFE STAR helicopter and an East Longmeadow Fire Department car extrication exercise,” Mellis said. “We also may have the REMAX balloon, depending on weather conditions. It will be a crime free night for the residents of East Longmeadow.”

In the past, children also have had the opportunity to tour an ambulance, get sprayed by a fire truck and sit inside a police cruiser and learn all about the tools at an officer’s disposal

Food will once again be a prominent part of the festivities, with both public safety and civilian groups dishing out treats.

“There will be water, ice cream, hot dogs by the East Longmeadow Fire Fighters, Sausage on a stick by members of the East Longmeadow UNICO Club and many other activities,” Mellis said.

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