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Greencastle, Waynesboro want annual Night Out

August 03, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Haley MacDonald, 2, of Moretown, Vt., has her fingerprints and photo taken at the Safety ID Program station with the help of Marilyn Smith Tuesday night at the Waynesboro (Pa.) National Night Out at Memorial Park. Haley's mom is from Waynesboro and her family is in town on vacation.
Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

The Franklin County, Pa., communities of Waynesboro and Greencastle hosted their first National Night Out events in years on Tuesday.

McGruff the Crime Dog made an appearance in both towns as their police departments tried to foster relationships with children and other residents. National Night Out is designed to help people develop connections with officers and generate support for anti-crime efforts.

In Greencastle, officer Eric Kamoie volunteered to sit under water balloons rigged to a system in which they'd burst if a ball hit a target. Children -- and a few adults who were teasing Kamoie -- submitted $1 for three balls to throw at the target. The donations will be used to make safety improvements at Jerome R. King Playground.

Greencastle also featured a junior detectives contest, medication take-back, Tastykakes giveaway and seeing-eye dogs.

"I think it's a good way to interact with our community," Greencastle Police Chief John Phillippy said.

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Although more than 10 years lapsed since Greencastle's last National Night Out participation, Phillippy said it's something he wants to do annually now. Waynesboro Police spokeswoman Kim Green said her department also wants to make National Night Out a returning event.

In Waynesboro, state Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, made remarks to kick things off.

The Waynesboro event offered child identification kits, free gun locks, kickball, free hot dogs and ice cream, and information on things like drugs, online predators and sexting.

"I really didn't know what to expect tonight, but I'm really pleased with the turnout," Green said.

Siblings Haley and Winston Davis participated in Greencastle's junior detectives contest.

"You have to figure out the clues. They led us to businesses in the borough," Winston, 11, explained, saying they collected stamps and codes from various places.

Haley and Winston's mother, Paula, said the game allowed the family to learn about Greencastle, since they've only lived in the town for six months.

Children who filled their booklets could enter a drawing for prizes like a bicycle, portable DVD player and signed Joe DiMaggio portrait.

Shannon Leydig said she and her children also discovered things they hadn't noticed before.

"We learned about businesses we didn't know were in Greencastle," Leydig said.

"I liked visiting all the businesses and getting stamps," said Drew Leydig, 7.

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