National Night Out returns to Keizer

RJ Navarro (front, right) and family members enjoy National Night Out in Keizer on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

National Night Out made its grand return to Keizer neighborhoods on Tuesday, Aug. 4.

The National Night Out party hosted by the Southeast Keizer Neighborhood Association at Ben Miller Family Park was lively as dozens of families enjoyed music, games, food and conversation.

Organizer Sherrie Haskins-Gottfried said that all the food, beverages and raffle prizes were donated by local businesses.

Jen Garbarda, who lives next to the park, was with four-year-old granddaughter Enzlee. Garbarda has lived in her house since 1972.

“I love my neighbors,” she said. She added that she likes the quiet neighborhood.

Charlie Foxx of KBZY Radio was the DJ for the event, playing music throughout the evening.

Ken Gierloff, president of the association, was pleased with the attendance. “There are some people here I didn’t even know,” he said.

The city was well represented at Ben Miller Family Park. Keizer Police Chief John Teague came by as did Lt. Andrew Copeland. City Councilor Dan Kohler enjoyed a hot dog while talking with attendees. Keizer Fire District board member Colleen Busch announced raffle winners while husband Bob Busch greeted everyone who came to the party. Jonathan Thompson, of NW Dental Arts, represented the Keizer Chamber of Commerce.

The party at Ben Miller Family Park was one of about 20 throughout Keizer to mark the annual National Night Out event, which promotes neighborhood safety.

Keizer City Councilor Roland Herrera hosted a get-together in his neighborhood at Country Glen Park and helped raffle off nearly two dozen prizes for attendees.

“It has been amazing, because we have an amazing neighborhood. All these relationships are beautiful. The reason we have this night out is for our community. Crime goes down and people get along better. Bringing everyone together is amazing,” Herrera said. “It is all about relationships. To me, the most rewarding thing is having people meet people and get along. As a city councilor, I love when we do this because it means so much for our community to know each other and support each other.”

“Everybody in Keizer knows the value of our community ties. Our fire trucks are blue, the city logo is blue, the street signs are blue, and these are the types of events that link all that together. This is what makes Keizer such a close knit community,” added Keizer Fire Chief Jeff Cowan, who attended a get-together at McNary Estates.