National Night Out will return to Fox Chase after a one-year hiatus.
During the bimonthly meeting of the neighborhood’s Homeowners Association and Town Watch groups last Wednesday, Town Watch President Steve Phillips announced plans to hold a block party-style gathering at Fox Chase Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 6, to coincide with the annual National Night Out. The event will be dedicated to John Duffy, the longtime Fox Chase Town Watch vice president who has been rehabilitating from serious illness since late last year.
Duffy served as the group’s National Night Out chairman and is credited with growing the Fox Chase event into the largest in Philadelphia, attracting thousands of people and dozens of vendors.
The Town Watch canceled the 17-year-old festival last year in the face of rising costs, declining financial support and limited volunteer support.
“We want to put National Night Out back on out of respect to John,” Phillips said. “Some of the local politicians have reached out to us [to help] and it will be as good as it always was.”
The purpose of National Night Out is to cultivate cooperation between the community and local police in the fight against crime. The Fox Chase event usually features demonstrations by police and fire department units, as well as presentations by area businesses and public officials.
This year, Fox Chase will have a new primary police liaison. Longtime 2nd Police District Community Relations Officer Mark Mroz has taken a new job in the office of Northeast Division Inspector Mike Cochrane. Dianne Murphy is the new CRO.
During last week’s community meeting, the Town Watch presented Mroz with its “Friend of Fox Chase Community Award” thanking him for his six years of service.
In the Homeowners Association portion of last week’s meeting, Vice President George Bezanis reported that the civic group’s new Web site is up and running. The site offers information about the group’s mission, its executive board, neighborhood history, current issues and important contacts. The address is foxchasehomeowners.org. ••