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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Olney will join forces with communities nationwide on Aug. 6 to mark National Night Out, which celebrates the relationship between neighborhoods and those who protect them.
The crime prevention event is sponsored nationally by the National Association of Town Watch and locally by the Olney Chamber of Commerce. It is designed to strengthen the relationship between communities and first responders and send a message of a united front against crime.
The family-friendly event will take place 5-8 p.m. in the parking lot of the Fair Hill shopping center, at Olney-Sandy Spring Road (Route 108) and Spartan Road.
Chamber Executive Director Jon Hulsizer said the event “celebrates the strong partnership between the Olney community and our police, fire department and Park Police.”
This marks the 26th year for Olney’s National Night Out celebration.
The event began on a much smaller scale at Longwood Recreation Center in Brookeville. The Olney Chamber took the lead in 1996 and it has continued to grow into one of the Olney’s most anticipated annual events.
Over the years, Olney’s event has received 13 national awards for “Outstanding Participation” in National Night Out.
“Last year we were one of 44 communities in our category [population 15,000 to 50,000] to be recognized,” Hulsizer said. “Hopefully, this year’s event will be equally successful.”
In other communities, such as Rockville, individual neighborhoods hold their own National Night Out gatherings. Olney is one of the largest community-wide events in the county.
The event will kick off with the arrival of a motorcade carrying elected officials and dignitaries. Traditionally, county and state officials begin their National Night Out visits in Olney before moving on to other celebrations.
National Night Out offers something for the entire family, including mounted police officers, members of the K-9 unit, motorcycles, police cruisers, fire apparatus and other emergency vehicles and demonstrations.
The U.S. Secret Service will provide free child fingerprinting and identification kits.
The event will also include music, face painting, crafts and games.
Harris Teeter, Mamma Lucia, The Greene Turtle and Chick-fil-A have donated food and drinks, which will be available for purchase.
Businesses will exhibit their products and services, and raffles will offer an assortment of prizes donated by local businesses, restaurants and organizations.
All proceeds from National Night Out will be donated to the Olney Police Satellite Station, Sandy Spring Volunteer Fire Department and Maryland-National Capital Park Police, as well as the Ofc. Leotta “Act Responsibly Scholarship.”
Platinum-level event sponsors include Kang’s Black Belt Academy, Olney Assisted Living and Smile Designs of Olney. As of press time, Tent Sponsors include Brooke Grove Retirement Village, Marian Assisted Living and Tusculum Farm.
Over 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases all over the world will mark National Night Out. In all, over 38 million people are expected to participate.
For more information, visit the Olney Chamber of Commerce website at www.olneymd.org or call 301-774-7117.
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