POTTSTOWN -- An annual tradition aimed at bringing neighbors together and undercutting the foundations of crime will continue next week in four borough locations.
The events will occur Tuesday, Aug. 5, despite the recent pall that has fallen across such events across the nation in light of the revelation last year that the man who founded the Wynnewood-based national organization that promotes the events is compensated in excess of $300,000 a year.
None of Pottstown's events are affiliated in any official way with the National Association of Town Watch or its executive director, Matt Peskin, whose compensation last year was about $325,000, a Philadelphia newspaper has reported.
All of the organizers contacted regarding events in the borough said their event has no connection to Peskin's organization.
The four locations for Night Out events are the Myrtle Street playground in the Bright Hope community, St. Paul's United Church of Christ at Grace and Franklin streets in the North End, First Church of the Brethren at York and Fifth streets and Zion's United Church of Christ at Hanover and Chestnut streets.
Pottstown Police Chief Mark Flanders said his officers will attend any event at which they are requested.
The event at Bright Hope will begin at 5 p.m. and end around 8 p.m, said organizer Gracie Rohm.
On tap are a disc jockey, basketball, a moon bounce and food, she said.
Hot dogs from the Very Best, a juggler, snow cones, popcorn, "those summer classics," a sprinkler and a visit from the Pottstown Police Department, who will distribute child ID kits and talk about safety, will all be part of the event in the parking lot of Zion's United Church of Christ at the event sponsored by the Historic Pottstown Neighborhood Association.
Organizer Amy Wolf said the neighborhood the event is designed to attract is between Beech to King streets and from Manatawny to Charlotte streets.
"And that's what this is all about really, getting to know your neighbors and looking out for them," Wolf said.
Live music, a magician and water games will all be part of the mix at the event at St. Paul's, said organizer Marie Shirey.
In addition to face painting, crafts and food, activities supporting the Relay for Life will occur, she said.
Scott Major, pastor at First Church of the Brethren, said he intends to spend much of his time at the event at York and Fifth streets getting wet. That's because a "dunk the pastor" booth will be part of the activities, along with free hot dogs and soda and goods provided by Turkey Hill and The Home Depot.
"The purpose of these individual celebrations throughout the community is to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, to strengthen neighborhood spirit, and to promote and strengthen police and community partnership," Shirey said.