First Hampden Night Out in years draws strong turnout - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

First Hampden Night Out in years draws strong turnout

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HAMPDEN, MA (WSHM) -

A state police helicopter landed behind Thornton W. Burgess Middle School as part of Hampden Night Out, an effort to bring this small town closer together.

"They're just grinning ear to ear ... they have the opportunity to see all the cruisers, the lights flashing and see the police dogs ... as a kid it doesn't get any better than that," said Hampden police Chief Jeff Farnsworth.

Between the chopper showing off the Hampden County Sheriff K-9s and a Jaws of Life demonstration, Farnsworth says the night out allows residents to see police in a whole new light.

"It's nice to be able to interact on a different level, to be able to get to see the police officers in a different light and meet the firemen and see them in their gear."

It has been several years since the town got together for a night out. Residents here say it's good to see the tight-knit community spending more time doing something positive.

"I haven't seen this many people in Hampden at Thornton Burgess in a while, it's a nice turnout and I'm just glad to be a part of it," said Marty McQuade, of Hampden.

Even the kids participated. Sixth-grader Brooke McCormick had her own booth raising money for a 5-year-old in town who has leukemia.

"It feels good to help him because no kid that little should ever have to go through that," she said.

Those here say that's just another example of the town coming together.

"We are a small community, we work closely hand in hand and it works out for everybody if they know everybody's on the same team," said Deputy Fire Chief David Markham.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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