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Hundreds of South Side children get treats, meet police at Harvest Fest

Published: Sun, October 30, 2011 @ 6:54 p.m.

Hundreds of South Side children get treats, meet police at Harvest Fest




Seeing youngsters gathered at an outdoor festival enjoying candy, popcorn and hot dogs pleases Victoria Allen, but it’s probably safe to say that the event’s purpose is more fulfilling to her.

“My passion is children’s safety and unity,” Allen, president of the ICU Block Watch group, said of Sunday’s first Neighborhood Harvest gathering at St. Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Ave., on the city’s South Side.

Sponsors of the free, two-hour festival were the church and the 1-year-old block-watch program, which covers East Lucius, Boston, Philadelphia and Avondale avenues.

Several hundred children and adults braved temperatures in the mid-40s and a stiff wind to attend the event, which was to provide youngsters with a safe place and to give attendees an opportunity to form positive relationships with police and other safety-force members, noted Patty Bowser, the block-watch group’s vice president.

It also was intended to provide fun and enjoyment for children whose parents might be fearful of their youngsters going trick-or-treating today, Bowser said.

Members of the Youngstown Police and Fire departments, a SWAT crisis-response team, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Rural Metro Ambulance were on hand, along with Capt. Bill Hack of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department’s Dive Team.

Many youngsters clustered around a table Hack had set up to view several .38-caliber guns, a Ruger 9 mm shotgun, a 7 mm Japanese sniper rifle used during World War II and other firearms - all of which the team had recovered from McKelvey Lake in Youngstown. Also on display were a pair of goggles and a metal detector his team often uses on such expeditions.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.


1pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

A great time was had by all. Many volunteers from the 7th Ward Citizens Coalition, the MVOC, even the Garden District Neighborhood Association on Youngstowns' west side, joined in to make this a safe and happy halloween alternative.

I hope we have several of these harvest festivals next year, scattered throughout the southside!

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2ghostofjohnyoung(163 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Anything like this seems to a good thing.

Sad that we need these events due to the safety of trick or treating in such an area.

Unsure of the message behind the event. Strange combination of departments and the display of firearms. I like firearms like the next man, but unsure of the signal sent to people in an area where firearms are one of the biggest issues.

All that said, thanks to all involved for doing something out of the ordinary and offering opportunities for the good people to interact for a change.

Pretty thrilled any time there is an event @pgurney endorses.

Agreed, the more of these sorts of events, the better. Keep it going!

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3rushblvd(15 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I was sorry I missed it-ACTION meeting. It is nice to see Vicki Allen organize this great event...I believe the Blvd. Park block-watch was represented. I agree all area groups should step-up to the plate and help. It is very easy to sit back and type all the negatives that happen around you, but we seem to lose our words when we have to praise someone or some group. Therefore, hats off to the ICU Block watch group and Fr. Maturi of St. Dom’s- You did well and keep up the great work...

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