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Reno/Venango County, PA – Traditionally, National Night Out events are held on the first Tuesday in August and include food, games, and activities; information from local organizations; displays of apparatus; and the opportunity for people to meet police officers, EMTs and paramedics, and firefighters. National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes strong police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live and work. Together, we are making that happen.

This year The United Way of Venango County boosted the National Night out events locally by awarding mini-grants to six community locations throughout Venango County. According to Will Price, Executive Director of United Way, “National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. United Way wants to provide a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances. Some of our children in Venango County only see our first responders in a crisis situation.”

United Way grants brought together over 1,500 local residents of all ages throughout the six locations. Each location that was awarded a grant had a committee that planned and executed their event, allowing each neighborhood to put their own stamp on the evening. Officers from Oil City, Franklin, Venango County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pennsylvania State Police joined these National Night Out events. First responders from local fire departments and ambulance crews also attended, bringing their vehicles and explaining their jobs to attendees. “National Night Out events are a great way to establish relationships and build a rapport with people in the community which can be helpful in a time of emergency. We’re grateful to have positive relationships with our neighbors because we live and work here too, and want to have open communication with the public.”Trooper Michelle McGee Community Service Officer Pennsylvania State Police | Troop E – Franklin

United Way of Venango County believes that the well-being of children and families is directly impacted by whether they live in a strong, stable, inclusive, and supportive community. The United Way also knows that the only way that we can get strong and stable communities is if we all work together and invest in our neighborhoods. Through our work, we seek and build evidence about what factors in a community impact and improve child and family well-being—and then put that knowledge into action. Local partnerships make their communities as powerful, equitable, and inclusive as possible in order to become places where children and families thrive. United Way of Venango County would like to thank our Major Sponsor of the event UPMC Health Plan. United Way plans to continue to boost these events in Venango County in years to come.