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Neighbor to Neighbor: 105th, Nassau join forces on National Nite Out

National Night Out Against Crime has gone for another year. If you missed it in 2003, it was not only your loss, it was ours.

We really did want to say "Hello" and to share the evening's events with you. As a former avid Brooklyn Dodger fan, I'll dig up our old cry and say, "Wait 'til next year." The date in 2004 will be Tuesday, Aug. 3. Don't forget to mark your calendar.

Working together, NYPD's Precinct 105 and Nassau County's 5th Precinct held their joint really big event at beautiful Belmont Park Race Track. The officers, the auxiliary officers, the law explorers, the folks from Belmont Park Track, (including, and especially, Paul, the Grounds Keeper), along with the 105th Precinct Community Council members (and family), and Community Board #13Q, all outdid themselves.

We had thought there would be food vendors but there were none. What there was, was a surprise. Loads of food - all free. If anyone went away hungry, it was that person's own fault. There were huge piles of pizza, hamburgers, snack food, juice, water and any kind of Mr. Softee ice cream you requested.

I can assure you, there were plenty of requests, all fulfilled efficiently and with a smile. Everything was delicious and appreciated. We even ate to the music of Long Island's 98.3 KJoy radio station and, later, spun the big wheel to try for one of their super prizes. While some of the "big people" walked around collecting new informative pamphlets, some of the "little people" kicked off their shoes and decided to "settle" their tummies by bouncing up and down in the big inflated house, or (with parental permission), learning how to escape a smoked-filled room, thanks to the Elmont Fire Department's smokehouse.

Nassau County's officers photographed youngsters and, (I found out too late), even adults, for I.D. purposes, while NYPD did VIN etching. The Department of Parks and Recreation was there with board games, and Con Edison offered coloring safety books and adult literature as well as rubber ball yo-yo's.

Visitors to the Eastern Queens Alliance table had an opportunity to learn about the important work that is being done to help save the wetlands, fulfill the plans for Idlewild Park as a Forever Wild Preserve, and build an environmental education center.

As promised, there were animals. The officers from Nassau County had both the K-9 and Mounted Units present, and Petland had a wonderful variety of big and little lizardy things, including an iguana.

We learned how to let a boa constrictor "hold" us instead of us holding it, and we had the pleasure of seeing a beautiful bright blue, orange and gold maci parrot in brief flight. The soft, furry ferret, angora rabbit, and chinchilla were all very patient with the abundance of petting they received and even seemed to enjoy it.

There are loads of people and groups to thank for that wonderful evening amid all the food and other gifts, including the TV, Walkman, pet house, bats and balls, and everything else. There are so many people to thank, I can only hope that if I miss someone, I'll be forgiven. I'll start where all this began - with the bosses. I have always felt that the better the communication is between the good people, the better the world will be. I hope Deputy Inspector Bryan, (NYPD Pct. 105), and Inspector Atkins, (Nassau County's 5th Pct.), are as proud of their people as we are of those two gentlemen and their staffs.

We thank all of them, the 105th Community Council, Community Board 13 and the folks from Belmont Park Race Track for all their hard work. Thanks also to visiting elected officials: Councilman Leroy Comrie, State Sen. Frank Padavan, State Sen. Malcolm Smith and City Councilman David Weprin.

Additional contributors were: Belmont Race Track; Brooklyn Cyclones; Care Plus; Con Edison; C-Town (Queens Village); Dominoes Pizza (Elmont); Health Plus; McDonald's (Elmont, Queens Village, Springfield Gardens); Merrick Farms (Rosedale); Montefiore Cemetery; Mr. Softee Ice Cream; North Shore Towers & Country Club; NY Dragons; New York Mets; Petland Discount; P.C. Richards (Elmont); Rosedale Civic Association; 7-11 (West Hempstead); Wackenhut Corporation; and White Castle (Queens Village).

We were grateful the rain stopped, too.

A happy time was had by all.

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