Clearfield’s National Night Out Sees Successful Second Year

Pictured, from left, are: Deb Gray of Clearfield Fire Department, Mayor Jim Schell and Police Chief Vincent McGinnis. (Photo by Wendy Brion)

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield Borough Council’s committee meeting did not have a quorum for any of the committees Thursday night, but a couple officials and a representative of the fire company took time to give the media an update on the recent National Night Out held Tuesday.

National Night Out is a country-wide event held yearly to bring the community and those that protect it together. This year is Clearfield’s second year participating and it was declared an absolute success, with plans already under way for next year.

Police Chief Vincent McGinnis, Mayor Jim Schell and fire department member Deb Gray sat down with the media to talk about the night’s event.

McGinnis noted that the police department had participated in the past, but these had been much smaller events. Then Loretta Wagner and the Clearfield Revitalization Corp. got involved and organized last year’s event, which had a great turnout.

Although the event is designed to promote police-community partnerships, more than just the police department was involved. Clearfield Fire Department was there as well as the local Army National Guard, Cen-Clear, the Phone Guys, the state Department of Transportation, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and many others.

Smokey Bear attended, celebrating his 75th birthday year, and McGruff the Crime Dog came with District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr.

The fire department held a fundraiser for the police department, selling 400 chicken dinners to the community.

“We sold out,” Gray confirmed, adding that they don’t know the exact total of funds raised yet. She also said that they delivered meals to local senior housing, including Graystone, the Henry Meyer Towers and the Dimeling.

The money raised from the chicken dinners will go to the police department, Gray said, adding that this is an opportunity for the fire department to help the police.

“I’m always so touched by the community,” Gray said, explaining that when there is a need, the community is always good to respond. “It touches the heart.”

Schell expressed appreciation for how everyone cooperated during the sudden rain storm that blew in during the event. He said some grabbed hold of tents to hold them in place while others helped the band Heavenbound quickly move into the garage where they continued to perform.

“Everyone kept a good attitude,” McGinnis agreed.

(Photo by GANT News Editor Jessica Shirey)

In addition to the chicken dinners and Heavenbound, there were many other activities and displays.

Fire department members took turns in a dunking tank, and there was a “striker” game where people could test their strength with a mallet.

The new patrol car was on display and the sheriff’s department had a remote-controlled sheriff’s vehicle, which was quite popular with children.

PennDOT sponsored a bike rodeo where local children could bring their bikes for safety checks and then have the opportunity to ride through an obstacle course. Wal-Mart Supercenter donated several bikes and helmets for a giveaway.

While the borough, police department and CRC are definitely planning on next year, they have discovered a snag in their plans. Next year’s event is scheduled nationally for the same week as the Clearfield County Fair. Additionally, Front Street will most likely be torn up for a repaving project.

So, it is likely the date and locations will be different from the national event.

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