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Woodbury celebrates Night to Unite

Kenzie McKeever, 9 and sister Harper, 4, got their smiles on during a Night to Unite party Aug. 8 at Dancing Waters in Woodbury. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 3
Leo Pinzinger, 9, chooses a sticker from Woodbury Police officer Ashley Kowarsch during a Night to Unite party at Dancing Waters in Woodbury. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Kenzie McKeever, 9, investigates the interior of a Woodbury Police vehicle during a Night to Unite picnic Aug. 7 at Dancing Waters. Woodbury public safety personnel visited 65 neighborhood block parties, a record. William Loeffler / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 3

Woodbury's most successful Night to Unite is now on the books.

Teams of city police, firefighters and paramedics visited a record 65 neighborhood block parties and picnics during the statewide crime prevention celebration, formerly known as National Night Out.

Public Safety spokeswoman Michelle Okada said the gatherings exceeded last year's record of 62.

That number could be even higher, since there was a deadline for requests.

"It's such a great opportunity to connect with people," she said. "We had parties all across the map."

One of the larger parties was organized at the Dancing Waters neighborhood, where residents lined up for food trucks and sisters Kenzie McKeever, 9, and Harper McKeever, 4, got to see a Woodbury Police vehicle up close.

Okada said the parties were organized in brand new neighborhoods to some of the oldest. One of the parties was organized by a woman who had just moved to Woodbury.

"She had an interest in meeting her neighbors so she took the lead," Okada said.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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