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Aspinwall National Night Out to benefit emergency responders

July 24, 2018 GMT

Organizers of the 9th annual Aspinwall National Night Out hope to top last year’s draw of more than 1,000 people, all with the aim of building a stronger community.

Hosted by Aspinwall Neighborhood Watch, the event will be 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at Ben Killian Field.

Night Out events are held across the country to encourage residents to lock their doors, turn on their porch lights and spend the evening getting to know their neighbors, police officers, firefighters, EMS and other community organizations, board member Sarah Shaffer said.

“With safety and community-building as the event’s focus, attendees will be able to speak with emergency personnel about important safety measures for their homes and families while exploring various rescue vehicles,” Shaffer said. The Allegheny Health Network’s LifeFlight helicopter is scheduled to land on the ball field, which Shaffer said has been a crowd-favorite in past years.

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Admission is $10 for families and $5 for individuals. The fee includes free food and beverages, as well as many of the activities like face painting and a climbing wall. There will be a balloon artist, drum circle, photo booth and jugglers.

Local musicians including Jocie Ghaznavi, Brett Staggs and seven-year old Wilhelmina Grashow will perform. Aspinwall DJ, Ron Hopkinson, will also provide music.

Proceeds will be split among the borough’s police and volunteer fire departments and Foxwall EMS.

In 2017, the event brought in $16,000 -- which translated to more than $5,000 for each of the same three groups.

“Given recent flooding and the tremendous response from our local police, fire and EMS, we’d like to raise even more this year,” ANW president Jenny Ellermeyer said.

There will be fundraisers like a dunk tank, 50-50 raffle and caricatures, and, a dollhouse donated by Aspinwall’s Lynlott Miniatures will be raffled. Aspinwall police officer Michael Broker constructed the wooden dollhouse and ANW volunteers painted it. The dollhouse is on display at Lynlott Miniatures along Commercial Avenue, where raffle tickets can be purchased prior to the event.

For more, visit aspinwallneighborhoodwatch.com.