35th Annual National Night Out builds community


By Cynthia Price

National Night Out has long been associated with “taking back our neighborhoods from crime,” but it is more than that.

For 35 years communities across the U.S., each in their own way, have come together to get better acquainted and enjoy each other’s company, often building bridges with those from law enforcement.

This year, the Lakeside Neighborhood, the Beachwood Bluffton Neighborhood, and Muskegon Heights held events.

In addition, Consumers Energy, which has won a National Electric Utility Award for its participation in National Night Out 2017, sponsored a (very) early-morning event on August 7 at their headquarters in Wyoming. In addition to a 7:15 proclamation by Grand Rapids-area mayors (including GR’s Rosalynn Bliss), the event included refreshments, live radio coverage, and a number of law enforcement agencies.

Consumers Energy received the award, its 24th consecutive, from the National Association of Town Watch, which sponsors National Night Out. The association was expecting the participation of over 38 million people in more than 16,700 communities from U.S. territories, Canadian cities, military bases around the world, and all 50 states.

Consumers partnered with the Muskegon Heights event as well as others around the state.

Beachwood Bluffton’s well-attended event coincided with its annual picnic at Kruse Park. Lakeside’s event had lower attendance due to the light rain, but the local community officers came out for it.

The National Association of Town Watch formed in 1981 to allow community watch groups to band together. National Night Out started in 1984.


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