Berryville’s Night Out

Mayor Kirby presents a check to the Laurel Center at the National Night Out in Berryville - Photo Mike Dowling

Overcast skies and a pleasant breeze provided a perfect summer evening for the annual observance of The National Night Out in Berryville on Tuesday, August 2nd. The National Night Out is intended to generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships while also sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. This year’s event provided a great opportunity for residents to gather in the park and rub elbows with law enforcement and town officials.

The event was sponsored by the Berryville Police with support from the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Neal White said this was the the fifth year for the event and the second year for the moon bounce which was a hit with all the children in attendance. Attendees perused exhibits on crime prevention while enjoying free hot dogs and drinks. The Clarke County Sheriff’s office also had the Crime Scene Unit on hand for visitors to explore.

Brian McClemens, owner of the Berryville Grille attended the event and said, “There is no event in Berryville more important   than this one to me. It brings the police and the community together, this is what it’s all about. This is Berryville.”

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Also featured prominently this year was an exhibit by the Laurel Center which was the center of attention as the festivities began. Founded in 1983 on the premise that no one should live with violence or the fear of violence, The Laurel Center, empowers and supports victims of domestic violence by providing emergency housing, advocacy, support services, and education. At the event in Berryville the mayor presented a donation to the Laurel Center on behalf of the town from the Rich Rau Memorial Fund. Mayor Kirby said,”Every year for the past several years, the Town of Berryville, with the help of Chief White and Christy Dunkle, sponsors a bike ride in May as a fundraiser. It’s called the Rich Rau Memorial Bike Ride.”

Rich Rau was the Director of Utilities in the Town of Berryville. Mr. Rau was a bike enthusiast who lost his life in an accident on Route 340 while riding.

Mayor Kirby concluded saying, “The legacy of Rich Rau carries on through the efforts of the people in the Town of Berryville and at this time I want to present this check for $3000 to the Laurel Center for the work that they do for abused women.”

Becky Allanson, President of the Board of Directors for the Laurel Center was on hand to accept the donation and thanked the Mayor for the donation and for letting the Laurel Center participate in the event.

Attendees also gathered to check their raffle tickets offered at the event.   Prizes include gift certificates from Radio Shack, the House of Light and The Berryville Grille and more.


  1. Crime is knocking says:

    “The National Night Out is intended to generate support and participation in local anti-crime programs.”

    Yup theres the word “INTENDED”, it generated about 20 supporters. Sad and disappointing.

    While I was there I got all the info I needed on the crime spree in my neighborhood.

    To all the Police officers, thank you for your time and effort.