HUBER HEIGHTS – A blue wave of police officers and volunteers flooded the Community Blood Center Bloodmobile as the Huber Heights National Night Out celebration got underway Tuesday evening, Aug. 1 at Wayne High School.
National Night Out is an annual campaign that promotes police partnering with the community for better relationships and safer neighborhoods. The Aug. 1 Night Out marked the second year with Wayne High as the host of the Huber Heights event, and it was the first year to include a CBC blood drive.
The blood drive started at 4:30 p.m. with the Night Out schedule following at 6 p.m. Many officers, support staff and volunteers signed up for early appointments to donate before reporting for Night Out duties. That show of support helped the blood drive total 34 donors, including nine first-time donors and 27 donations for 117 percent of the collection goal.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever done it so I figure I would do it early,” said Communications Officer Lawrence Blosser. “After this I’m going over to the (Ohio Division of Wildlife) archery trailer. I am familiar with archery, so when they asked I volunteered for it.”
The archery trailer was just one of the Night Out attractions. It kicked off with a performance by the Wayne Warrior marching band. Kids enjoyed trying on SWAT team body armor and getting free pink plastic fire helmets from the firefighters. Highlights included the police canine unit demonstration, a special landing by CareFlight, and the crowd favorite “Dunk-a-Cop” booth.
“I’m in the dunk tank,” said Officer Larry Tyree while donating on the Bloodmobile. “That means I’m going in! I did it last year, but this will be the first year after giving blood!”
Larry had a cheering section with his wife Erica and five-year old son Easton waiting for him. Erica, who coordinated last summer’s Huber Heights “Battle of the Badges Blood Drive,” wore an “I’m Married to a Hero” t-shirt. Easton’s t-shirt said “My Daddy is a Hero” and CBC staff wrapped his arm in a mini-Cobain bandage so he could look like his blood donor dad.
Asked if he planned to dunk his dad in the “Dunk-a-Cop” booth, Easton said “Oh yea!”
HHPD Dispatch Manager Deborah Wiley made her first lifetime donation while her 13-year old daughter Faith waited. “She wants to go see the canine demonstration,” said Deborah.
Mariann Savard, an advisor for the police Explorer Unit volunteers, also made her first lifetime donation at Tuesday’s Night Out blood drive. Her husband John is the HHPD public affairs officer and Night Out coordinator.
“Since my husband is in charge of all this I’m kind of his assistant!” Marian said. “He’s got a lot of officers helping him, I’m just a volunteer!”
It wasn’t all police staff and volunteers on the Bloodmobile. Elisabeth Martinez, a freshman at Kent State in the fall, made her fifth lifetime donation before taking in the Night Out activities with her mom.
“I just graduated from Wayne High School,” she said. “I was in the marching band and I’m going to go watch them!”
That’s one of the goals of National Night Out – bringing friends and neighbors together, getting to know their public safety teams, and enjoying being part of a community on a nice summer night.