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Families enjoy lighthearted Cascade Locks evening

Photo by RaeLynn Ricarte

McKenna Sullenger, left, waits for Martika Walker to set

up a giant golf ball before trying her skill at the sport on Tuesday. In the background, Karen Peck, head of the city’s Park and Recreation Department, lines up

Audrey Raczkowski for the next turn.

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

August 6, 2005

Children braved the hot evening sun to try their hand at “Monster Golf” and other games of skill at Port Marine Park on Tuesday.

Inside the Pavilion, their parents escaped the heat to enjoy a dish of ice cream while concentrating on word puzzles. The adults also took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on the latest news with neighbors and friends. Toward dusk, all ages took to the dance floor to try out moves with a variety of DJ tunes.

Cascade Locks’ third annual program affiliated with America’s Night Out Against Crime drew a crowd of 80 people — in spite of competing meetings that same night. Organizer Greg Hauer said the event has become a tradition that will continue to take place on the first Tuesday of each August.

“We’re building and strengthening the bonds between residents of the community — and that makes this very worthwhile,” said Hauer, program director for Cascade Locks Interested in Kids (CLIK).

He partnered with Karen Peck, director of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, to plan the activities. The Port of Cascade Locks contributed by offering the facility free of charge and throwing in two tickets for a cruise aboard the local sternwheeler.

CLIK purchased 22 prizes for a drawing that netted residents everything from a portable CD player and a fishing rod with tackle to coupons for pizza/movie rentals. Staffers from Cascade Locks Ice Cream and Deli volunteered to dish out dozens of Moose Tracks frozen dessert helpings.

The coalition against drugs/alcohol abuse hosted Night Out to promote a “sense of place” among residents. National Night Out started 22 years ago to help citizens connect with each other in cities across the country. The underlying belief of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit group, is that neighbors working together can stop crime and achieve a better quality of life.

According to the NATW, the first step toward accomplishing that goal is to provide individuals with an opportunity to meet each other. So, participating towns are encouraged to host barbecues, potlucks, parades, rallies and meetings at least once each year.

At its inception in 1984, 400 communities in 23 states participated in National Night Out. Since then, the event has grown to involve more than 34 million people in 10,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories and Canada. Hauer said Cascade Locks has joined the movement not only for the long-term benefits, but to provide citizens with a few hours of fun — which is good for the soul.

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