NEW ULM - Several hundred people learned about the virtues of police-community partnerships Monday at the National Night Out (NNO) Rally at the Brown County Fairgrounds.
The nationwide crime/drug prevention event features citizens, law enforcement, civic groups, neighborhood organizations, local officials and businesses. It seeks to strengthen neighborhood spirit and send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organizing against them.
Helen Zangl of New Ulm seemed a bit surprised when she was called to the stage to receive a plaque acknowledging her involvement in NNO from New Ulm Police officer and NNO volunteer Julie Duehring.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Helen Zangl of New Ulm receives a plaque for her volunteer work from New Ulm Police officer and National Night Out volunteer Julie Duehring Monday at National Night Out at the Brown County Fairgrounds.
Zangl was one of the event's original organizers 16 years ago.
"Helen has been a great volunteer since National Night Out began here 16 years ago as a way to benefit the community with neighborhood picnics and a fund-raiser," Duehring said. "Helen, Patty Rodewald, New Ulm Police, Fire and Park and Recreation departments, plus the MBW Company helped us at the start."
Vicki Sieve of MBW said Zangl did an incredible amount of volunteer service.
"It's the little things she did that are really big," Sieve said.
Emily Kelly of the Brown County Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Committee said she's proud to tell other counties about all the volunteerism in Brown County.
"Other counties are jealous of the great things we're doing here," Kelly said.
One of the most informative events of the evening was a kitchen flash over-ire demonstration by the New Ulm Fire Department.
Firefighter Ellwood Zabel advised people to never pour water on a kitchen grease fire. A demonstration showed how a hot pot on a stove quickly created a huge, hot flame when a mixture of water, grease and oil was poured on it from a safe distance with a long pole.
"Slide a pizza pan or a large, damp towel over a hot pan if it starts burning," Zabel said. "Keep pot holders, paper towels and long sleeves away from stoves. Don't mount fire extinguishers too close to a stove. If you can't put out a fire quickly, get out of the house, and call 911 from a neighbor's house."
If a pizza pan isn't easy available, sprinkle baking soda or drape a wet towel over a stove top fire.
He urged people with a fire extinguisher to sweep it across the top of the stove but avoid spraying to too much right on the fire because it's under so much pressure, it push the fire out of the pan.
A Brown County Public Health booth urged people to build a healthy plate of food with half of it fruit and vegetables, eat whole grains whole, switch to skim or one percent milk and vary protein choices, choose food and drink with little or no added sugar and be physically active. For more information, visit choosemyplate.gov
The Brown County Humane Society said people can help the organization by donating empty aluminum cans, used ink cartridges, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, bleach, old cell phones, new or used dog and cat food, toys and blankets and towels.
Pro Kinship for Kids is looking for mentors to help young people who lost a parent and need more self esteem and socialization skills.
The Brown County General Crime Program offers free and confidential services for crime victims.
Community and Seniors Together Learning Environment (CASTLE) will start fall courses on Sept. 9. Subjects include Come Fly With Me, World War II Causes and Effects, and Contemporary Scandinavian Films. Call 354-3212 for more information.
For more information, visit www.nationaltownwatch.org/nno/about.html
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).