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Family reunion helps Ripon in its crime fighting endeavors
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Young Kennedy Daly and her Papa Jim stood in line for 20 minutes in the snow cone line at Tuesday’s citywide National Night Out event at the Ripon Community Center.
With triple-digit temperatures in the early evening, Daly, who finally got her special three-flavored cold treat, said the wait was well worth it.
She and Papa Jim enjoyed their snow cones along with the other freebies offered at the festivities sponsored by the Ripon Police Department.
“It’s like a big family reunion,” said police spokesman Lt. Steve Merchant. “We see a lot of same people here and at the Almond Blossom Festival.”
The community gathering is a way to encourage Ripon residents to get to know their neighbors better to help step up people watching out for each other in a bid to keep crime at bay.
Police had to do this year’s NNO alone. The Ripon Ministerial Association helped out at the previous summer events but had other commitments, Merchant said.
He recognized Christina Caro and Liz Forks for stepping up and getting donations to make NNO possible.
“It was a huge undertaking on their part,” said Merchant, who noted that not a single cent came out of city funds.
For that, NNO in Ripon was able to stay true to its slogan: “Night of Free Fun for the Whole Family.”
Included was the assortment of bounce houses, hot dogs, condiments, bottled waters, popcorn, and, of course, snow cones.
“We already made over 150 snow cones,” said Yvonne Falduti during that first hour.
She and her husband Todd were among the many volunteers who worked NNO.
Earlier in the day, 11 teams took part in an Amazing Race-style event that kicked off at the police department.
From there, 38 involved searched out clues, Merchant said, going to the downtown historical museum, the old jail house, the Community Center, and the Ripon Consolidated Fire station.
The top four teams were awarded prizes.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail