By Sarah Frierson
On the heels of the Cooper-Young Festival, block clubs around the neighborhood are gearing up for this year’s Neighborhood Night Out (NNO) on Tuesday, October 12, from 6-8pm (please see page 16 for a list of registered NNO parties). NNO parties are a wonderful opportunity to meet your neighbors, share food and fun, and promote the safety of our neighborhood.
Neighborhood Night Out is the Cooper-Young version of National Night Out, a nationwide program encouraging neighborhood spirit, community safety, and police-community partnerships for a safer nation. For the second year in a row Cooper-Young has opted to hold the event in October rather than August in order to beat the heat. According to Ginger Spickler, our Block Club Chairman, “August 3 (the national date) was one of the hottest nights on record for Memphis. We think October will be much more pleasant.” Despite the different season, Target, the corporate sponsor of National Night Out, will make their presence known in our neighborhood once again. Each party will receive a $25 gift card from Target that one lucky partygoer will take home
This year we also welcome a local sponsor for NNO – Outback Steakhouse. Kevin and Lauren Luke, CY residents and owners/proprietors of the Outback on Union, have generously supplied us with loads of goodies, including ten Outback gift baskets and multiple coolers that will be awarded to lucky party attendees in a drawing after NNO. “We live at Nelson and Meda, so we want to make sure we do what we can for our community,” says Kevin. We are thankful to have such wonderful neighbors. Let’s not forget that, in addition to their support of NNO, they also provided food for 1800 people at the Festival Friday 4 Miler.
The Lukes are doing their part to foster the neighborhood spirit, and the parties themselves aid in creating a safer community. Parties should be visible and take place on the front lawns. Ginger Spickler points out that the increased visibility of the parties “shows anyone who is watching our streets (neighbors, police, criminals) that we know each other and that we’re watching out for each other.” Expect to see representatives from the West Precinct making the rounds as well.
This year the parties will also be an opportunity to spread the word about the CYER (Cooper-Young Emergency Response) plan. In the event of an emergency or disaster, it will be essential to know how to best help one another. A comprehensive neighborhood plan is currently being developed, but it is important for each household in the neighborhood to create a family plan as well. Be sure to pick up full-size and wallet-sized copies of the Family Communications Plan, which will be distributed at each party.
Partygoers will also receive save the date flyers for the upcoming Cooper-Young Community Emergency Response Training (CERT). CERT is a two-day program that provides hands-on training in basic disaster relief, from fire safety to search and rescue. Cheryl Yarbro, Manager of Operations and Training with the Shelby County Office of Preparedness HLS/EMA/UASI, has set aside two Saturdays for Cooper-Young residents to complete their CERT training as a group: January 15, 2011 and February 12, 2011. To sign up, send an email to email@example.com and put these dates on your calendar now so that we can show them our appreciation for the special training sessions with a great turnout. CERT training is available year-round from the Emergency Management Agency (EMA) at no charge. If you are interested in completing the training at another time, please contact the EMA at (901) 515-2605 to register. Everyone who completes CERT training will receive a CERT kit, which includes a hard hat, reflective vest, gloves, metal whistle, flashlight, batteries, and a carrying bag.
In addition to great information and good company, you can also count on tasty food at your NNO party. Those of you hosting a party, don’t forget that both Central BBQ and Outback Steakhouse are offering special deals on food for the evening. At Central BBQ, you can order the basic catering package (pulled pork, beans, slaw, sauce, buns, paper products, and serving utensils) at a discounted rate of $3.75/person. Or, you can get pulled pork for only $6/pound if you want to have neighbors bring sides. Outback Steakhouse is offering a dinner package, including 25 sandwiches, salad, sodas, and desserts, for $100. Please place your orders by October 5, and let them know that the food is for NNO. The first 20 hosts to turn in their receipts and block club rosters will receive a $50 reimbursement from the CYCA, so hang on to those receipts!
We wish everyone a safe and fun Neighborhood Night Out! Feel free to call the CYCA office at (901) 272-2922 if you have any questions.
By Sarah Frierson