For Rosalind McKelvey and the Wakefield 49ers, National Night Out was about much more than fighting crime.
Observed every Aug. 7 since its 1984 inception, more than 37.8 million people and 16,124 communities participate in an event designed to foster neighborhood unity and cooperation.
Among the participating groups was the Wakefield 49ers, which gathered Tuesday night in the 4900 block of Wakefield St. in Germantown to continue its mission of cleaning up their street and finding ways to resolving differences amongst neighbors.
At the scene
Block captain Rosalind McKelvey raised her family on the block.
McKelvey, who served as a Pennsylvania School for the Deaf paraeducator for 21 years, said Tuesday that concerns about disabled populations and public-health emergency preparedness drew her into this brand of volunteerism.
At National Night Out, the 49ers teamed up with Germantown Deaf Ministries and the Philadelphia Health Department for an event featuring informational tables, free food, recognition awards, a tribute to the victims of the city’s violence and an outdoor movie.
Noting that it was the only deaf town-watch group to host such an event in the city, McKelvey said it was done in the name of unifying neighbors in a peaceful fight against violence.
“As much as we have worked to arrive at the awareness we have today, I am amazed and continue to be determined to bring awareness to the deaf community and our local community on services and the need for involvement in community safety,” she said. “This year’s Night Out was a great success.”
Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass said she appreciated the effort.
“I just want to be supportive of folks coming out and being engaged,” she said. “The more organizations like this that we can help cultivate and support, the further it will go toward making our neighborhoods safe.”