We're not sure what line was longer--the one to dunk an officer/deputy or the one to ride in AEP Ohio's bucket truck. But we are sure that the kick-off to our Summer 2023 Block Parties with Columbus Division of Police was a success! We had so much fun, and smiles and hugs were everywhere. Even the officers and Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputies who were soaked from being in the dunk tank got hugs!
That was just the beginning of the excitement, though. Kids (and adults) got to visit our friends from the Cincinnati Division of the FBI and CPD's RREACT team. They could check out one of CPD's helicopters, their DUI Interceptor van, a CPD motorcycle.
They could say hello to CPD Recruiting, the Community Liaison Officers, and to one of CPD's K-9 teams, Officer John Kifer and K-9 Carr. One little boy said he wanted to race Carr, but we figured Carr would definitely win, so that didn't happen.
However, there were lots of other two-legged races, even one between two of Starfish's board members, CPD Deputy Chief Tim Myers and Lieutenant Chris Lieb. Chief Myers was fresh out of the dunk tank and hadn't put all of his gear back on yet. That might have given him a slight edge over Lieutenant Lieb, because he JUST beat him. The chief's prize? All the kids wanted to race him next!
There was basketball, music thanks to Bruce Black and Department of Neighborhoods Columbus, LOTS of outstanding support from other community agencies including Mothers Of Murdered Columbus Children and WE ARE LINDEN, and our friend Columbus Division of Fire Chief Jeffrey Happ came to say hello! (We couldn't convince him to dunk an officer, though, no matter how hard we tried. 😅)
Of course, we had a BUNCH of chalk for the kids. New this year: we found chalk donuts!🍩 Yes, we were very excited. We figured they'd be a huge hit with the officers (and they were), but the kids thought they were the BEST! It was so much fun watching them play with them.
Our friends from Byers Airport Subaru came to show their support and present us with a ceremonial check! Their donation to us this year has enabled us to do these block parties and SO much more. We're so grateful to them and their customers for believing in us and supporting our mission.
We're also grateful to the many volunteers, groups, and agencies who made this event happen. Thank you all for your support and for making this such a fun event for everyone who came out--CPD, FCSO, 614cadets, AEP Ohio, the FBI, our amazing partners at Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, and all the people & agencies who spread the word for us. All of you are very appreciated. It takes a huge team of dedicated people to make these events happen, and we are so grateful to you!
CPD and CRPD staff estimate we had more than 1,000 people attend throughout the evening. We went through more than 300 hotdogs. (Pretty cool that people wanted to come even though the food ran out, right?) Thank you, Linden, for turning out and having a great time with us. We love you and love doing events with you. You KNOW we'll be back!
We'll see you all next Thursday, June 22 from 4-7pm at Feddersen Community Center, 3911 Dresden Street.