National Night Out event promotes safety, family fun

Photos by Sherri Kolade
Dearborn resident Alexis Borieo (above), 6, splashes around with her family and friends at Van Houten Park during National Night Out. Below, Taylor resident Mitchell Doran (right), 5, gets off of a bounce house slide after playing.

Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — Everett Doran had a busy day Aug. 7.

The 7-year-old Taylor resident bounced, bowled and golfed his way into a certain type of bliss that only an excited, energetic child could understand–and his day wasn’t even over with.

Doran and his family visited multiple businesses in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster and Taylor during the fourth annual National Night Out, a crime and drug prevention event described as “America’s Night Out.” The event drew hundreds of families and residents like Doran, who said he had a fun time bowling (he scored 86 points) but one activity captured his heart.

“I liked the bouncy house the best,” Doran said after getting out of the bounce house at Van Houten Park.

Doran’s mother Stephanie Doran said her family had a good time.

“We are trying to do stuff we don’t normally do,” Stephanie Doran said. “The kids have a lot of fun going to all the businesses.”

Forty local and area Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce businesses involved in NNO gave residents visiting their establishments tickets; the person with the most tickets could redeem them for a prize at the evening’s finale at Van Houten Park where clowns, face painting, free drawings, food, games, water park activities and many more treats entertained an ever-growing crowd.

Midway Sports Entertainment, on Van Born Road in Taylor, kicked off the four-city business crawl. Participants picked up a map directing them to the day’s events, which included a visit to businesses ranging from restaurants, dental care, retail locations, accounting services, schools, apartments and churches.

Dearborn Heights resident Nicholas Kirsch, 6, said he enjoyed himself while at the park.

“I like the bounce house because if you go on one (of the houses) there is water in there,” Kirsch said. He added that he was not scared by the possibility of falling, he just had fun.

Wendy Fichter, Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce director of small business development, said the event is an opportunity for families to do something together that is inexpensive and fun.

“This is a success,” Fichter said of the event. “It’s a great chance for people in the community to get out and visit their local businesses; it is also a good chance for the service organizations to make the community aware of what they do. It is a good chance for (the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce) to raise a little bit of money … it is just good all the way around.”

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at