MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- In an effort to educate Lowcountry military families on safety awareness, Tri-Command Military Housing hosted a National Night Out at the Laurel Bay mobile home park, Aug 2.
The event, which was sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for local anti-crime programs and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships.
“This is an event to get the community together, prevent crime and promote safety,” said Katie Smith, the Tri-Command’s marketing and public affairs coordinator. “This is the third time we hosted the event. We had 1,200 people show up last year.”
Tri-Command housing wants to keep their neighborhoods as safe as possible, according to Smith.
“With all the deployments that take place, Military Housing wants to make sure that the spouses and children are part of a community that cares about their well being,” Smith said. “We also want the service members who are deployed to feel comfortable with leaving their loved ones behind, protected and in a secure place.”
This is only the third National Night Out hosted by TCMH, but it has been celebrated for 22 years in more than 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military installations around the world, according to Jill Bates, the TCMH residence service coordinator
“This event is always held the first Tuesday of August,” Bates said. “We definitely plan to host it next year. We like having it at Laurel Bay, so we might do it there again.”
The event took place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and included a cook-out, a DJ, air jumpers, pony rides, contests and prizes. Although the amount of people was lower than last year, TCMH was pleased with the turn out, according to Bates.
“We had about 800 people attend the event,” Bates said. “We were happy to have all the residents there.”
Along with all the variety of entertainment provided, there were also an assortment of booths that provided information on keeping Tri-Command families safe, according to Bates. The booths included the Provost Marshal’s Office, the Parris Island Veterinarian, McGruff the Crime Dog, boat safety, Laurel Bay Schools, the Fire Department, the Red Cross, Young Marines, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.
“This is the best way to mix learning and fun for the whole family,” Smith said. “We look forward to strengthening our neighborhood spirit and coming together as a strong, educated community.”
Overall, Tri-Command Housing felt that the event was very successful and ran according to schedule, according to Bates.
“Everything went really smooth,” Bates said. “We had no problems, the kids had fun and families received a lot of information.’
Many of the residents felt that the event was a great effort on behalf of Tri-Command Housing, according to Chief Shirley Grant, the administrative department chief petty officer for Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 82.
“This was a great event in such a small town,” Grant said. “There were a lot of activities and fun for the children. This was the best event that I have seen in my 20 years of service.”