The city’s National Night Out festivities are fast approaching, and one North Suffolk neighborhood is planning a remembrance of one of its most famous residents at the event.
The Pughsville neighborhood will be holding a tribute to Mary Richardson, who died two years ago, at its celebration of the national crime-fighting event. Richardson grew up in the Pughsville community and was a longtime representative on the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s board of commissioners.
“She was our mascot,” niece Cindy Davis said. “Mary Richardson would help anybody. Anyone in the community that had a problem … they would call and ask her what she could do, and it would be done.”
The community will honor Richardson Tuesday with a tribute performance by the children in the family, as well as a presentation about her contributions to the city. In addition, the community will hold a parade and cookout, just like many other communities that night.
National Night Out is a national crime-fighting and community partnership event, sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. It encourages people to turn on their porch lights, lock the doors and get outside to meet their neighbors and local public safety officials. It is designed to strengthen partnerships between the community and law enforcement officers, and to encourage them to present a united front against crime.
Honoring Richardson has been an important part of the National Night Out celebration since her death, Davis said.
“She fought for her community for many years for them to have streetlights, paved roads and running water,” Davis said. “They know without her, they would be nowhere on the map today.”
The festivities will be held at the Pughsville park, which is named after Richardson, who was a driving force behind getting the park in the neighborhood, her niece said.
“She was the first one that initiated trying to help the children,” Davis said.
Celebrations will be held in dozens of neighborhoods throughout the city on Tuesday. A kickoff event will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the King’s Fork Public Safety Center, after which the celebrations will begin in the neighborhoods.
Related events on Sunday will include National Night Out Sunday, which encourages churchgoers in the city to pray for the community. National Kids’ Day also will be held Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Constant’s Wharf Park. Public safety partners will provide child safety seat inspections, child identification programs, and demonstrations of police dogs and bicycle safety.
For more information, visit www.suffolknno.org.
Below is a full list of participating communities and businesses.
American Red Cross, Suffolk chapter
Applewood Farms Homeowners Association
BelleHarbour Woods Neighborhood Watch
Bennett’s Creek Farm Market
Berkshire Meadows Homeowners Association
Bethlehem Ruritan Club, 140 Manning Road — includes communities of Barrett Acres, Bethlehem Court, Brewers Meadow, Christina Landing, Cove Point, Hunt Club Point, Kilby Shores, Manning Bridge Road, Maple Hill, Oak Lake at Holy Neck, Oak Ridge, Pine Aire, Reids Crossing, Robin Lane, Springfield Homeowners Association
Bettie Davis Village
Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Virginia
Burbage Grant Neighborhood Watch
Commons at Centerbrooke
Downtown Business Association/Fairgrounds Promotion Committee
Driver Junior Express — Beech Grove United Methodist Church
East End Baptist Church
East Suffolk Gardens Civic League
Greater Oakland and Chuckatuck Civic League
Hall Place Community Association
Hobson Civic League
Holland Ruritan Club/Holland community
Hollywood/Jericho Civic League
Kingsboro Civic League
Kings Fork Farm
Lake Kennedy Civic League
Mike Duman Auto Sales
Nansemond Square Apartments
Olde Town Civic League
Pughsville-Suffolk Civic League
Saratoga/Philadelphia Civic League
SRHA (all communities meeting at 530 E. Pinner St.)
Suffolk Inner-City Athletic Association
Suffolk Pentecostal Holiness Church
Tynes Street Park and surrounding communities
Westside Civic League (Boston and Williamstown)
Whaleyville Ruritan Club
Wilroy Baptist Church, 306 Williams Road — includes communities of Nansemond Gardens and Willowbrooke
Wilson Pines Apartments