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National Night Out set for Tuesday

| Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, 12:09 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for Trib Total Media
During National Night Out in 2012 in Aspinwall, a Stat MedEvac medical helicoper lands and allows people to sit inside and learn about what they do in emergency situations.

Aspinwall's annual National Night Out celebration on Tuesday will do more than build relations between emergency workers and the community. It also will help build a playground.

For the second year, the event will raise money for playground equipment at the Field Avenue park, the site of the program.

Aspinwall Neighborhood Watch, the organizers of the event, hope to raise about $2,500 this year, said Lorraine Marks, president. Last year's program raised about $3,000. That money was saved to combine with this year's total.

Marks said equipment at the park has been there for 20 to 25 years and is due for replacement. “It's time,” Marks said.

Marks said members hope to break ground on next year, and will complete the playground project in phases.

To draw a good crowd, National Night Out organizers have added more features for senior citizens to this year's event, said Sandra Regan, communication chairwoman for the neighborhood watch. Carnival games, a MedEvac helicopter, canine unit, emergency vehicles and vendors also are on the schedule.

“Every year, we're figuring out what works and what doesn't work and what people like,” Regan said.

Marks said while the group does smaller fundraising events at Christmas and Memorial Day, National Night Out is its main event.

“It's something that we work on throughout the year,” Marks said.

The event gives community members and emergency service workers a chance to get to know each other.

“You need people in the community to get to know their police and their firefighters and their rescue workers, because it's the only way that a community develops a trust you need to work together,” Regan said.

If you're going:

National Night Out will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 6 at the baseball fields on Field Avenue and Fifth Street.

Cost is $10 per family and $5 for individuals. Dogs and smoking are not allowed at the field. Visitors may bring chairs.

The event features several other fundraisers, including a dunk tank, T-shirts and 50/50 raffle. Blue light bulbs are on sale at businesses in the borough or by e-mailing aspinwallneighborhoodwatch@gmail.com. Blue lights should be displayed on the night of the event to show support for the Aspinwall Police Department and should be turned on by 9 p.m.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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