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Thomas Family Boots On The Ground Outreach Ministry works its outreach at Emporia’s National Night Out. by handing out hygiene kits to the school age children, college care packages and gifts, and everyone walked away with a prayer. Pictured from left, are, Linda Thomas, Monique Johnson, Elder Javon Thomas, Jane Myrick, Homer Myrick, Minister Kenneth Taylor, Nancy Zeiders.

The Emporia community gathered for a night of fun, education, and entertainment at National Night Out Tuesday evening at the Veterans Memorial Park.

It was another successful year of neighborhood participation.

Tuesday’s National Night Out gave residents an opportunity to meet with local police officers and first responders at the fun-filled event. The event was an organized effort to demonstrate that while communities are made up of various community groups, organizations, local businesses and individuals, they can all come together to support a common goal, as well as show the diversity of every community and that it takes everyone working together to make neighborhoods and cities resilient. National Night Out is part of a national effort to promote strong police and community partnerships.

As people walked around the Veterans Memorial Park, they saw many smiles from personnel of several different law enforcement agencies, first responders, church leaders and elected officials.

Residents were able to attend the free event and participate in fun activities including, UTV rides, tic tac toe, face painting, Choo Choo train rides, dunk tank and much more.

The event also included free hotdogs and hamburgers, which were generously donated by Farm to Fork and Boar’s Head. There were also free drinks, pop corn and music entertainment by DJ Trans, who certainly had a way of getting the crowd onto the dance floor.

One of those people was Greensville County Sheriff W.T Jarratt who topped off the night with some pretty smooth dance moves.

“It’s really nice to see those that fight crime everyday show they care and enjoy having a good time with the community,” said Tammy Jones. “I made a promise that I would bring my grand kids, so here we are.”

Jones stated that this is her second time bringing her grandchildren out to the event. The family was headed to their car to place inside the free school supplies that it had received from the Greensville County’s Sheriff’s Department. As the family headed to the car you could hear the excitement in their voices as they discussed which activity was their favorite and which one they were going to try when they returned.

The Sheriff’s office wasn’t the only group you would find handing out school supplies to those in need. Various community groups, organizations and local business owners joined together in support of National Night Out including, Southside Regional Jail, Thomas Family Boots on The Ground and From Start 2 Finish Counseling Service to name a few.

People of all ages showed up at the event to meet and greet officers. One of the big draws was the dunk tank, where attendees were able to take a shot at the brave Sheriff for the City of Emporia Keith Prince.

“It actually feels pretty good,” Prince said. “I couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

Jennifer Poarch, local resident and wife of Officer Mark Lilly of the Emporia Police Department, was in attendance to support and get a good laugh every time Prince went under. Officer Valerie Rodriguez, of the EPD, said they were happy with the turnout and thought the event went very well this year.

Tuesday’s local Nation Night Out events in Emporia and Jarratt were part of the national effort to promote strong police and community partnership.