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Block party helps residents feel safer

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POSTED August 7, 2012 1:44 a.m.

What a difference a year makes.

Amy Glass, Hope Johnson and Marisela Alaniz were picnicking when the idea to organize a block party for National Night Out was first broached.

As residents of the area near Veritas School – specifically, Antigua Park located just south of the Highway 120 bypass in Manteca – they hardly knew their neighbors.

All that changed after last year’s National Night Out, a unique crime and drug prevention program sponsored by National Association of Town Watch scheduled for tonight or the second Tuesday of August.

Over 37 million people are expected to participate nationally in National Night Out 2012.

“It’s nice to know our neighbors,” Glass said on Monday. “Before (NNO 2011) we hardly knew each other.

“I now feel safer here.”

Over 100 attended the NNO function at the park that borders on Antigua Lane, Barbados Street, Pagola Avenue, and Collin Street.

Glass is among the six neighbors who are planning this year’s function. They’ve each made monetary donations to the cause and again got some of the retailers at the nearby Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley – included was the Bass Pro Shop – to make contributions.

They’ll also have bounce houses along with a snow-cone and cotton candy machine from 4:30 to 9 p.m.

Manteca police are scheduled to stop by at 6 o’clock. At 7, a clown will be on hand to perform and entertain children of all ages.

NNO is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs; and strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships.

At Antigua Park, Glass said that those attending are encouraged to bring their own meat for the barbecue cookout and a side dish to share everyone.

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