SIERRA VISTA — Sierra Vista held its annual National Night Out on Tuesday, Oct. 5, as the public gathered to celebrate and honor officers of county police, {span}United States Border Patrol{/span}, U.S. Forest Service and other community first responders.

The evening consisted of a doughnut-eating contest, an obstacle course, a canine demonstration provided by Fort Huachuca and other entertainment, while allowing the community to meet with first responders. Multiple business vendors throughout the city also attended.

Wilma Richards, founder of the non-profit organization “The Butterfly Club” that supplies wigs for cancer patients, attended as a sponsor.

“It’s great for the community to come together and to honor these people who put their lives on the line every day,” Richards said.

Richards said she was shocked by the community turnout and believes there should be more events to honor first responders in the community.

“So many people have this bad taste in their mouth when they hear ‘border patrol’ or ‘sheriff,’ ” she said. “When you get to meet these people, there’s some cool men and women here.”

Better Bucks of Sierra Vista’s Board of Directors Member Joe McDermott said he enjoyed the crowds and seeing the community out for the night.

“This is just a super community. Seeing people come out and have a good time,” he said. “Seeing the positive spin and the positive vibe they get from the law enforcement community.”

Sierra Vista Police Department Public Information Officer Cpl. Scott Borgstadt said the event is geared toward getting information out to the public that it might not know about.

“National Night Out is a way to bring the community together to learn about the things first responders do through displays and demonstrations and also offer other information and projects out there,” he said.

Borgstadt said participants see the benefit of the event and become very involved.

“The public, especially around this area, is so receptive and supportive of all first responders,” he added. “It’s just real nice to see that in our community.”

National Night Out has been celebrated for more than 15 years in Sierra Vista. Borgstadt said that food products have been donated by vendors and sold to the public as profit totaling $1,174.98 to fund the Sierra Vista Police Officer Association’s “Christmas with a Cop” and Cochise County Sheriff Office’s “Shop with a Cop” events for the holiday season.

Borgstadt said the Sierra Vista Police Department thanks everyone who participated, including all of the first responders, volunteers and organizations.

“Without all of the help and support we got, it would not have been possible. I really truly appreciate everyone coming out to help with that,” Borgstadt said.

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