HUDSON — The city will host a night of fun at the waterfront Thursday before students head back to school.
The Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties, Inc. and the Columbia County Child Fatality Review Team is inviting the community to the 5th Annual Community Night Out from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Henry Hudson Waterfront Park.
“Community Night Out is a celebration designed to strengthen our communities by encouraging neighborhoods to engage in stronger relationships with each other and our various community agencies,” according to a statement from the county Department of Health.
The event is free and will include food, face painting, games, raffles prizes, a bounce house, arts and crafts, games and more. The night ends with the annual ice cream social and raffle.
“Our goal is to create a relaxed opportunity to discuss ways to work together,” according to a statement from the county Health Department.
The weather is predicted to be partly cloudy Thursday with temperatures hovering above 80, according to the National Weather Service.
The event dovetails with National Night Out, which is typically held in July, and promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.
The Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties, which is one of the hosts of the event, operates 34 different programs in both counties.
This event is held in concert with the Columbia County Child Fatality Review Team, which is made up of officials throughout the county who work together to reduce pediatric fatality rates through education and prevention. Its members include law enforcement, representatives from the county Department of Social Services, health department officials, medical professionals, emergency medical services and others.
The program, which is funded through the state Office of Children and Family Services, has been in existence in the county for the past decade and recently began partnering with Rensselaer County. The team will be on hand offering information at the event Thursday.
“We provide education to schools, day care centers and families the community and meet four times a year as a team,” said Kristy Frederick, an educator with the team. “What we educate them on is safe sleep, car seats drowning, motor vehicle accidents and suicide prevention — anything that is a cause of pediatric fatality.”
Frederick said one of the biggest issues facing families, not only in Columbia County, but the rest of the country, is unsafe sleep for infants. Unsafe sleep typically occurs when a baby is sleeping with a blanket or toys or next to an adult.
“For safe sleep, we always advise that the baby sleep on a flat firm surface with nothing in the crib or bassinette except the baby,” Frederick said. “No blankets or toys and they should always lie on their back.”
At the event, the Mental Health Association of Columbia Greene Counties, Inc. will be recognizing Columbia County’s District Attorney Paul Czajka for his efforts and support to increase and enhance the services available at The Child Advocacy Center with a ceremony at 5 p.m.
“He is dedicated to ensure that all victims of crime are treated with dignity and respect, and that the perpetrators are held responsible,” according to a statement from the agency. “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Paul Czajka for being the voice for our most vulnerable survivors of crime and abuse.”
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.