Communities honored

Published 10:56 pm Monday, August 31, 2009

For the third year in a row, Bethlehem Ruritan Club and surrounding communities took home the first-place award for National Night Out.

“I had the support of the entire club and had good leadership,” said Bill Duplissey, the president of the club this year, after a ceremony Monday night in City Council chambers. “Everybody pitched in and worked hard.”

The National Night Out ceremony was held for participants to view the 2009 video and scrapbook, present awards and plan for next year’s event.

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National Night Out is a crime and drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. It is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs, and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

The ceremony included remarks from community leaders on the success of National Night Out.

“National Night Out 2009 would not have been successful without your dedication,” City Manager Selena Cuffee-Glenn said.

Mayor Linda Johnson agreed, saying the event had grown so much “we all have to choose where to go, because we can’t get to all of them.”

“Everywhere I went, there was nobody there but a winner,” Johnson added.

In addition to the first-place community award to Bethlehem Ruritan Club, the National Night Out committee presented the second-place community award to the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority; the rookie community of the year award to Burbage Grant; and the first-place business award to the Suffolk News-Herald.

“We were very happy to do it this year and plan on bigger and better things next year,” Rhonda Tepper, representing Burbage Grant, said. The community hand-delivered more than 1,400 invitations to its event.

For more information on National Night Out, visit