Light up the Night shines light on law enforcement
For more than three years, Light up the Night has been a Greenwood tradition to raise awareness of the hardships law enforcement officers and their families face.
The Service Learning class planned the April 5 event two months in advance, and junior Taylor Watson, shared the set-up.
“We had food donated from Zaxby’s and City Barbecue. Games — such as potato sack race, red light-green light, tug of war, bing-bag toss, and ring toss — were set up for all to play,” Watson said. “Later, we held an auction and walked around the park.”
Watson shared her experience.
“When I first got there, there were many games set up, and food was being served. My main responsibility was to ensure that everyone was taken care, for example, serving food to the participants,” Watson said.
Another Service Learning student shared some numbers that correlated to the number of people present.
“We had around 20 firefighters and 10 police officers. This was actually the first year that firefighters showed up, and you could tell they really enjoyed it. Once it got dark, we got glow sticks that were blue because that’s the symbolic color of police,” junior Alex Wilson said.
Aside from food and games, an auction was also on the itinerary.
“We held an auction that was fairly successful with some of the donations that were given. Items like tool kits, gift cards, and sportswear were auctioned off to the highest bidder,” Watson said. “The entire project was very well planned out but not as many showed. Twenty-three, not including police officers and firefighters, were present. In past years, there were up to 200.”
Among the crowd was junior Charlie Scott who described his time at the event.
“When I got there, I was confused on what I should do, but as the night when on, it got a lot more fun. I got to find out what firefighters and police officers do in their day-to-day life. This was cool to me because they do not have many opportunities to share their stories,” Scott said. “For example, there was a firefighter at the event that was from Chicago, and he shared his story and expressed how nice he thinks it is that we do this kind of event every year.”
Scott got the chance to bond with some of the officers and firefighters.
“I got to throw a football with a firefighter. It was really cool because I never really knew how firefighters or officers acted or what they do in their free time. I got the chance to speak with a firefighter about it,” Scott said. “My favorite part of the night was listening to a firefighter, who was injured in the line of duty, speak and express his thoughts on how nice it is that we hold an event like this for our community.”
Scott summarized what the night was like as a whole.
“I believe Light up the Night was successful in fulfilling its purpose because the officers and firefighters were presented well,” Scott said. “I would recommend that people go to this event because it raises money for the police and fire departments and the events created a very fun and energetic atmosphere. It would have been nicer to have seen more people come to support the officers and firefighters and all they do in our community.”