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HomeNewsArchivesTALENT, TURNOUT MAKE FOR A BRIGHT 'NIGHT OUT'

TALENT, TURNOUT MAKE FOR A BRIGHT 'NIGHT OUT'

Aug. 8, 2001 – Fire-tossing majorettes, a steelband, high-stepping dancers and a host of other talented young people entertained about 450 youngsters and parents at the V.I. Night Out Against Drugs, Crime and Violence festivities Tuesday night under the bright, new lights of the Joseph Aubain Ball Park in Frenchtown.
The event marked the 14th annual Night Out observance in the territory.
Flemon J. Lewis, chair of the Night Out committee, said while handing out raffle tickets that he was delighted with the crowd. "It's a good turnout, a really nice crowd," he said.
Lewis urged those arriving to stop by the booths set up by various community organizations and pick up their raffle tickets there. "That way, they will have to read the literature and see what the booths are about," he explained.
Family Resource Center, the St. Thomas-St. John chapter of the American Red Cross, and the government's Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse were among the agencies represented.
Tasida Kelch, one of the event organizers, also was pleased. "There were lots of children, and that's who we are targeting, so it was a big success in our eyes," she said Wednesday. "We really worked hard, and lots of agencies helped."
It was a thoroughly community-based effort. V.I. National Guard personnel assembled the stage and set up the tents, Kelch said, and the U.S. Attorney's office and the Human Services Department supplied helpers. The food booth — featuring flaky saltfish "baby pates," fresh fruit plates and meatballs — was staffed by members of three Lions Clubs and youngsters of the Customs Explorers.
"Look at this," J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary School student Alston Creque Jr. said, holding up a red Frisbee emblazoned with the message "Drugs don't fly with me." Bumper stickers, booklets and other message materials all helped to get the purpose of the evening across. Committee member Delores Thomas summed it up as she urged the crowd to "make every night a Night Out Against Drugs, Crime and Violence."
Clement "Cain" Magras and Danielle and Steve Turbe were among those clapping and laughing as a V.I. Institute of Performing Arts dance group did a high-step number to Jerry Lee Lewis's vintage rock 'n' roll classic "Great Balls of Fire."
P'your Passion provided music on into the night, along with Analyze This, Too Much Crew, Princess Lyrics, Stepp to Stopp and the Sibilly Sun Rays steelpan orchestra. The venerable Sebastianettes did a crowd-stopping number, twirling fire-tipped batons over their heads while stepping to a lively music beat.
The night-time energy was all part of the annual Aug. 7 Night Out celebrated throughout the United States and Canada, and on U.S. military bases worldwide. The message has been — and still is — for communities to take their streets back from the criminals.

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