ENON – About 2,000 people came out on Tuesday evening to take a bite out of crime as they gathered at Indian Valley Middle School to celebrate Enon’s National Night Out event.
Enon Police Chief Lewis Wilcox stated that the annual event, which promotes crime and drug prevention and encourages residents to get acquainted with local law enforcement and community members, was deemed a big success and reflected the hard work and effort of many individuals, businesses, and organizations.
“It takes everyone from council members, the administrative staff, the mayor’s office, the entire village police department, the street department and all the sponsors and donors to pull this off. Our goal all along has been to make it bigger and better each year, and I believe we are succeeding,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox noted that a number of law enforcement agencies and fire and EMS departments came out to support the annual event and the Enon Police Department, including the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, Clark County Park District, and the South Charleston, Yellow Springs and German Township (Clark County) Police Departments.
Mad River Township, Hustead and Wright Patterson Air Force Base Fire and EMS Departments and the Army National Guard Armory in Huber Heights were also among the list of supporters that provided demonstrations and a variety of activities for residents.
Wilcox also credits much of the success of the local event to the National Night Out team that was established in 2013, the Speedway Corporation, the Enon VFW Post, as well as a long list of businesses, donors and volunteers.
“Enon Administrative Assistant Kristy Thome generally heads up the National Night Out team and with all her resources and contacts, everything generally falls into place. One reason for our success is that we do not wait until the last minute to plan things. The day after this year’s event, we already began planning for the 2016 event,” Wilcox said.
The local National Night Out drew people of all ages who came out to enjoy free food and drinks, children’s games, face painting, raffles, music and various demonstrations aimed to educate residents about various safety topics. Mad River Township, Hustead and Wright Patterson Air Force Base Fire and EMS Departments brought vehicles to the event for residents to check out and explore. Miami Valley Medical Center CareFlight made a grand landing in an adjacent field, and families had the opportunity to look inside the helicopter. The famous Ghostbusters, who were garbed out in their paranormal exterminating gear, also made a surprised appearance, and Batman fans also got a close-up look at the legendary Batmobile.
“It brings people and local agencies and organizations together in one place and helps build community spirit,” Wilcox said.
Enon Mayor Tim Howard called National Night Out a “great family-fun event” and a huge accomplishment of the dedicated people who work in partnership towards its success.
“It was the best event we have had yet, and it was great to see the entire community come out and interact with our police department and the other organizations that were in attendance,” Howard said. “Thanks to Lew Wilcox, Lieutenant Mike Holler, Kristy Thome, the administrative staff, and all the other village employees for a job well done.”
The police chief said the National Night Out team is “kicking around” a variety of ideas for National Night Out in 2016.
“We have been trying to get a couple of attractions to be a part of the annual event, but those plans have not materialized yet,” Wilcox said. “We are always thinking of new things to add, but we would like to keep some surprises for next year. The end goal is to make Enon’s National Night Out the best and biggest in Clark County. I think we are getting there.”
Linda Collins is a freelance reporter for Greene County News