By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Grafton – For the 12th year, Grafton residents and visitors joined thousands of communities nationwide Aug. 1 by celebrating the 34rd annual National Night Out. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and locally by the Grafton Police Department. Designed to strengthen a partnership between law enforcement and community, the family-friendly block party is an opportunity for residents to interact with first responders, as well as town and state officials.
Guests of all ages gathered on the grounds of the Grafton Police Headquarters. There, they explored a display of cruisers, fire trucks, mobile command stations, a SWAT vehicle and equipment, and an ambulance. Kids took the seat of police motorcycles from the Grafton, Westborough and Uxbridge departments.
Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau Jr. asked everyone to wave during a Massachusetts State Police helicopter flyover. A demonstration was presented by Officer Dan Daly and Kenzo of the Millbury Police K9 unit with Officer Joe Coggans of Grafton.
Among the giveaways were bicycle helmets from Direnzo Towing & Recovery. Grafton Girl Scouts offered a bike safety quiz.
Throughout the evening, Jim Gallagher conducted interviews for Grafton Community Television. Among the interviewees were Worcester County Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis; Beth Gallaway, Grafton Public Library director; Jen Anderson, Grafton Recreation Department director; Selectman Sargon Hanna; Lisa Kelley, Grafton Senior Center outreach worker; state Rep. David Muradian Jr., R-Grafton; and Justin Sousa, Central Massachusetts Veterans’ Service District director.
The Grafton Lions Club Sight Mobile provided vision and hearing screenings, as well as glucose and blood pressure monitoring. Literature was available on topics such as crime and fire prevention, drug awareness, and health and safety issues. The evening also included balloon sculptures by magician Steve Charette, face painting, free pizza, hot dogs, pies, Dunkin’ Donuts samples and other refreshments.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.