National Night Out discussed at meeting
by Mark Ledbetter
Jul 18, 2013 | 1402 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cheaha Regional Mental Health Center’s Prevention Advisory Coalition coordinator Richard Bonds met with community educators, medical personnel, clergy, and other community leaders Wednesday at the First Baptist Church.

The primary item on the group’s agenda was National Night Out, a community police awareness raising event. The event is held the second Tuesday in August and this year will take place Aug. 6 at Noble Park in Sylacauga.

Event coordinator for the Sylacauga Police Department, Lt. Mike Gorman said the event has grown over the past 10 years from about 50 attending the first event to over 1,500 last year’s event.

Gorman has teamed up with Bonds and Bonds said he appreciated the number of people and groups that have stepped up to assist with this year’s event.

“You have impressed me,” Bonds said. “Last year it was me and Mike. What really works for our community is when our community works together.”

This year’s event will include several community groups, organizations, and churches that will set up booths to provide information or provide special services for those attending the function.

Local high school bands, a gospel quartet, and a variety of special presentations will be featured. Free food will also be available.

First Presbyterian Church pastor Ross Reddick announced that information regarding the event has its own page on Facebook. Reddick said he will add a feature allowing individuals, groups, churches or businesses to reserve a table if they want to set up a booth at the event.

Kathy Landers, representing the Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enrichment, announced details for this year’s Sylacauga’s Promise School Supply Drive. Landers said donations will be collected at Walmart in Sylacauga from 9-5 July 27 and Aug. 3, and from 1-5 July 28 and Aug. 4.

Supplies and donations will also be received at SAFE Family Service Center through Monday, Aug. 5. Landers said distribution of the school supplies will be Aug. 6 at J. Craig Community Center. “People will be able to attend National Night Out and then walk across the street to pick up the supplies,” Landers said.

Supplies needed include items such as clear, mesh and regular back packs, spiral notebooks or composition notebooks, three ring binders, loose leaf paper, crayons, and glue. A complete list is available on a flyers posted throughout Sylacauga.

Bonds announced he recently attended a “bullying” seminar and learned much about the subject. He said he is developing materials that he is willing to share with others.

Bonds also mentioned the recent grant the center received from the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant for Coosa County. Funds from the grant will allow for delivering and sustaining effective drug abuse and/or mental health services.

“This is the first time we have been allowed to go to Coosa County,” Bonds said. “We will open an office two times each week at the health department.”

Contact Mark Ledbetter at