Kylie Hodil, using an image on her phone as a guide, carved a jack-o-lantern inspired by “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
“She’s the little artist,” the 12-year-old girl’s mom, Char, said. “She’s always drawing and coloring.”
But, Kylie wasn’t in a swanky studio or even her school art room – she was in the Brookfield Township Fire Department truck bay, working alongside a number of other children, carving up the pumpkins stockpiled by the Brookfield Optimist Club for Safety Night, the 19th annual community event put on by the Brookfield Police and Fire departments.
Held Oct. 25, Safety Night filled the truck bay and the fire department’s social hall with visitors and representatives of various township and county agencies and service clubs.
“It allows the public to see the safety services outside of calls,” said Police Chief Dan Faustino. “They get to learn what they do.”
And there is a growing number of people who want to learn.
“The attendance gets larger every year,” said Assistant Fire Chief Kenny Johnson.
The police department exhibit included a drug identification guide. The fire department showed off its trucks and gear. Brookfield Optimist Club, Brookfield Historical Society, Brookfield Rotary Club and Masury/Brookfield Women’s Club explained what their groups are all about.
And, there were plenty of things to give away, from coloring books and issue bracelets to cookies and popcorn.
Lori Kussin of Wellness Champions, a doctors-led organization that focuses on workplace health, provided chair massages and stress analyses.
“It’s a great way to meet the community, network with the other providers,” Kussin said.
Linda Baer-Bigley of Someplace Safe, the county’s domestic violence agency, said she always gets a good response at Safety Night.
“It’s still hard to believe some people haven’t heard of us,” she said of the 40-year-old organization. “There are a lot of people that come through and stop at the table.”
“I like that the community comes together,” said Nicole Stroup of Masury. “We come every year. It’s always a fun event.”