COPPERAS COVE — Some Copperas Cove residents who didn’t know their neighbors before Saturday night may know them better now thanks to the citywide annual celebration, National Night Out, at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.
Families from throughout the community attended the event to visit with Dora the Explorer, pet a lamb with the Copperas Cove FFA Chapter, sit on a motorcycle with Bikers Against Child Abuse, and jump in bounce houses.
Copperas Cove has hosted the bash for 16 years and spends $8,000 to $10,000 a year to throw the party.
Cpl. Dominic Moore of the Copperas Cove Police Department was quick to point out the event is funded 100 percent by financial contributions and in-kind donations from local businesses.
“H-E-B has sponsored this event from the beginning and ServePro stepped up to be a sponsor for the first time this year. The chamber of commerce is a big help as well as the police academy, Crimestoppers and other city agencies.
TootyTot and Gamechangers also donated their services.
Several volunteers helped run the event, and more than half were teenagers.
“If we can get to our youth when they are younger, it helps keep them out of trouble. Through this event, our youth are exposed to people who run the city, can provide mentorship, and set them on the right path for later on,” Moore said.
A group of neighbors in Skyline Flats all got together to attend the event with their children. “It’s better than hanging out in the garage at home,” said Liz Grimm, whose daughter, Acadia, 2, pointed with excitement and anticipation at all of the activity going on around her. “She was a little scared at first. But now she is getting into it.”
Claudia Hicks brought her daughter, Emily. “We just came to hang out and let the kids have fun,” Hicks said. “Emily got to sit on one of the motorcycles and they even turned the lights on.”
Moore said that’s what the event is all about.
“This is an opportunity for citizens to meet each ther and in turn, cut down on the amount of crime that goes on in the city.”