Faith Smith, 8, cooled off with an ice cream sandwich on Norris Avenue yesterday...
...or maybe she was warming up in preparation for the donut-eating contest that came later.
Treats and games like this one kicked off the seventh annual National Night Out -- a yearly event designed to bring neighborhoods and community police together -- in Batavia. Last evening's event on Norris Avenue was the first of three "National Nights Out" this year. August will feature two more -- one at Birchwood Village, the other on Pringle Avenue.
This is a big change in the way National Night Out is done. Traditionally, it has been geared toward the community as a whole and held at public venues like Austin Park.
According to City of Batavia Youth Bureau Director Toni Funke (pictured right, with Lydia Schauf), who's in charge of National Night Out this year, there's a "different spin."
"We want to try and enhance relationships within neighborhoods," she said. "People can get out, meet their neighbors, and talk to their department heads in the city."
In other words, it has become a way to revive the lost art of the block party.
What has remained the same, however, is the goal of fostering positive community relations. City police officers, public servants and representatives of various agencies/organizations in Batavia were there to answer questions, provide information on their services, and just give everyone a good time.
Activities, attractions and goodies for kids and families included food, fingerprints, art, a balloon toss, an egg race, a K9 demonstration (courtesy of Sheriff's Deputy Brian Thompson), an ambulance, two fire trucks and more!
Members of the local "who's who" were there to greet everyone including:
City of Batavia Police Detective Rich Schauf
City Manager Jason Molino (who, upon hearing that I was on assignment for The Batavian, asked: "Where's Howard?!")
Police Chief Randy Baker
Batavia City Council President Marianne Clattenburg
Local organizations/agencies included:
Justice for Children Advocacy Center - Coordinator Colleen Marvel collected a saliva sample from Peyton Woeller. She gave the Woellers and other families Child I.D. Kits, which parents keep handy in the unfortunate event that their children go missing.
Genesee County Youth Bureau -- There's Peyton again with his sister, Quinn, doing sand art.
City of Batavia Water Bureau
City of Batavia Fire Department
And here's folk from Target!
People also had a chance to win two prizes: a Muckdogs Family Four Pack for participating in a scavenger hunt, and a six-month membership at Next Level Fitness for filling out a survey for the city.
If you are interested in hosting National Night Out in your neighborhood next year, call Toni Funke at 345-6420.
Detective Schauf gets "busted" in the K9 demonstration.
Sarah Adams gets to see what life is like behind the wheel of an ambulance.
Lastly, a nice local relic:
A 100-year-old wooden water main, courtesy of the City of Batavia Water Bureau.