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Residents of Sun City Carolina Lakes recently joined thousands of neighborhoods across America in the 29th annual Neighborhood Night Out, held Aug. 7.
Community residents came together to enjoy the evening with Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile and the SWAT team, firefighters, EMS and Rescue Squad from Indian Land, the American Red Cross Disaster Response Unit and the Pink Tow Truck serving the Indian Land area.
S.C. House Rep. Deborah Long and S.C. Sen. Greg Gregory joined the community and visited with residents.
DJ Dixie provided music for everyone to enjoy, while the Sun City Tailgaters served food. Clowns and local vendors added to the festivities.
The National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit crime prevention organization, sponsors and promotes this annual event. Since 1981, NATW has been dedicated to the growth, maintenance and development of crime prevention programs nationwide. National Night Out is a special effort to heighten awareness of neighbors in order to prevent crime in their communities.
Traditionally, there is an effort to have lights on and what the organization calls “front porch vigils.” Activities expanded over the years with varying results.
According to S.C. Neighborhood Secretary/Treasurer Ella Moore, Sun City incorporated the traditional actions into this community gathering.
“The group hopes to solicit and train additional block captains in the fall,” she said.
The Sun City Neighborhood Watch program is led by Brian Green.
“I am very impressed with the 30- some vendors that have contributed money so that my wife, Chris, could go out and buy what was needed to make up the baskets, which are being given away this evening,” Green said.
Green also expressed his gratitude to all the volunteers who made the event come together. Deputy Rusty Duncan, the community liaison with the sheriff’s office, works with the Sun City Neighborhood Watch. He said he is investigating possible signage for the community.
According to the national organization, “National Night Out 2011 involved over 37 million people in 15,325 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide.” But NNO 2012 is expected to be the largest ever.
Green summed up the event with the Neighborhood Watch adage: “We are a Neighborhood Watch Community and we are ‘Watching Out & Watching Over.’”