police department sent out invitations to surrounding communities,
including Delavan, Green Valley, Mason City, Emden, New Holland,
Hartsburg and Easton through letters and advertising. The event was a
fund-raiser for the department, with proceeds going to their general
fund. The park and ball field behind the old San Jose school were home
to the event.
was food aplenty, at reasonable prices. A pork chop or chicken
sandwich with all the sides was available for adults for the price of
$5.00, for older children at $2.50. Children under 7 ate free. An open
shelter provided shade and a comfortable meeting place for those
enjoying the meal, complete with a lovely view and background music.
number of vendors, from Delavan, Topeka, Emden and, of course, San
Jose, had a variety of wares for sale. These ranged from country
crafts, rag rugs, stuffed animals and yard art to home-based-business
products such as Herbalife, of which free samples were generously and
enthusiastically given. Pumpkins and Indian corn were also for sale.
All vendors were delightfully helpful and friendly.
the raffle front, there was a plethora of items up for grabs. These
included a camping package, a 50/50 drawing, a gift certificate from
Dixon Fisheries and a couple of stuffed bears, among others.
(To top of second
the younger set, there was a large playground on site, and tickets for
children's games were available at the more-than-reasonable price of
10 tickets for a dollar. Playing "Bucket Toss," "Hit the Milk Bottles,"
"Pick a Duck" or "Darts and Balloons" yielded a treasure trove of trinkets
for the kids.
on hand was a local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and the
San Jose Fire Department was well represented. Visitors could take a
"driving test" in a golf cart, steering through a course of orange
pylons, or attempt to don a full suit of fire gear ─ indeed a
challenge on the warm, muggy day!
Jose Police Chief Aaron Hodgson said the department expected to serve
approximately 500 people in the course of the day, and he voiced hope
that the event would continue to grow in coming years.
in all, it was a lovely day, spent in a welcoming community. There was
a family atmosphere, and enjoying the afternoon came at a very
wallet-friendly price. There was good food, good company and beautiful
Karen Friedrich and Doris Allison, in town from nearby Topeka, both
echoed the sentiment that the event was meant to be "an
old-fashioned day in the park" ─ the kind of thing that we need
to Know Your Neighbor Day" is an event that the San Jose Police
Department can be proud of and an event that is sure to keep growing
as word gets out in years to come.