SIDNEY — National Night Out (NNO) in Sidney will look different this year due to social gathering mandates. Instead of crowds gathered down at the Shelby County Courthouse square getting to know local law enforcement officers and first responders, this year people will need to log online see familiar faces.
Each year, NNO, the nation-wide, annual program in which local law enforcement aims to connect and build community relations, is set for the first Tuesday evening in August. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sidney NNO was postponed and converted to a virtual event.
NNO will be held on Facebook Live through Sidney Alive’s Facebook page Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., in which Sidney Alive will host participating local law enforcement and first responders agencies in a socially distanced format on the court house lawn.
“This year, due to the pandemic, many communities chose to move the date to Oct. 6, with the hopes and intentions of more lenient social gathering mandates,” said the press release from Sidney Alive, the organization that heads-up the Sidney event. “Unfortunately, our community must still comply with current mandates that prevent us from hosting a public, community social gathering. As you may recall, last year’s event was a huge success with over 500-plus attendees visiting our downtown court square, and we are confident this year’s attendance would certainly exceed current guidelines.”
“We’ll be honoring our law enforcement and first responders in a ‘showcase/spotlight’ that will be featured on social media on Tuesday, Oct. 6. We strongly encourage people in our community to give consideration in creating a meaningful acknowledgement of gratitude and support for our local law enforcement, fire and rescue, and first responders who serve our communities,” the release said.
Those who log-on can expect to see members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Sidney Police Department, Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Fort Loramie Rescue Squad.
“We’re glad that we’re able to celebrate NNO in some capacity. We hope the community will join us both online and in their own ways to promote positive police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. So go out and meet your neighbors and support our local first responders by doing what you’re able. We are truly better together!” said Amy Breinich, Sidney Alive’s executive director.
Sidney Alive is encouraging the public to get creative to show support for local law enforcement in their own way.
“Perhaps delivering something to their departments and offices on Oct. 6, creating a post on your social media, putting signage in your window or yard, use a blue light bulb in or outside your home or office, or come up with your own creative idea to honor these great men and women who serve selflessly every day,” said the Sidney Alive press release.
Sidney Alive is a 501c3 non-profit organization which strictly operates on donations, sponsorships and fundraising revenues, the organization emphasized. Revenue has been adversely affected by the virus, so “in an effort to have fun and possibly raise funds,” it is hosting a “Battle of the Badges, Pie in the Face Contest” in conjunction with the virtual NNO celebration.
The community can go to Sidney Alive’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/downtownsidneyalive and like or love their favorite participant, which are: Jim Frye, chief deputy/sheriff elect, with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office; Chad Hollinger, deputy fire chief of the Sidney Department of Fire & Emergency Services; and Will Balling, chief of police of the Sidney Police Department.
Whomever receives the most likes/loves will be able to select who gets a pie in the face. Community members will also have the opportunity to donate $5 to Sidney Alive through a link on its Facebook page and select a participant to be “pied.”
Sidney Alive invites the community to follow the organization on Facebook and Instagram, or visit its website at: www.sidneyalive.org for the most up to date details on upcoming events.
For more information, Sidney Alive can be reached at 937-658-6945 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.