Gov. Martin O’Malley is one of hundreds expected to attend Shady Side’s “” event on Tuesday—a community gathering that celebrates the local spirit and gives residents a chance to meet law enforcement officers face to face.
O’Malley’s spokeswoman Takirra Winfield announced over the weekend that the governor will make an appearance at the community event in south county.
Shady Side’s event will be just one of thousands taking place Aug. 7 as part of the national neighborhood awareness and crime-prevention event, started by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW).
“I know at least this is the first time [O’Malley] has come in the last three years. I was very excited,” said local event coordinator Charlee Harris. “All the reactions that I’ve gotten have been very excited.”
Last year, approximately 37 million people from more than 15,000 communities participated in the neighborhood event, according to the NATW website. Several hundred people are expected to attend the Shady Side gathering, which takes place Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Lula G. Scott Community Center, Harris said.
The main goal of the “National Night Out” is to connect with neighbors and friends, Harris added.
“It’s for all the communities just to be together. We have music, we have the fun house, it’s just everyone getting together and talking and communicating,” Harris said. “It’s just a wonderful night for the kids to be together. It’s a great atmosphere.”
Several local institutions have partnered to help sponsor the event for the 19th time in south county. Ranging from local churches to neighborhood food markets, the businesses aren’t just hosting the event, they’re directly giving to local children.
“This year, all the local businesses have gotten together to support me in getting the kids school supplies,” Harris said. “We’ve filled 80 bags [full of school supplies] for elementary school kids. The first 80 that come get them.”
Harris said there will also be a raffle where families can win one of four full backpacks, stuffed with additional school supplies.
Mohan Grover, owner of Renno’s Market in Shady Side, has been a key figure in hosting the event for 19 years and is one of the many businesses partnering to host “National Night Out.”
Below is a list of other establishments partnering to throw the neighborhood gathering, as provided by Harris:
- All State Insurance
- Auld’s Party Supplies
- Bucks Photography
- Frankling United Methodist Church
- Living Waters Church
- Morgan and Walsh Foundation
- Shady Side Market
- St. Matthews Church
- Tender Loving Care Adult Day Care
- Zancan Printing
The event takes place Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Lula G. Scott Community Center, located at 6243 Shady Side Rd., Shady Side.