By Nathan Mayberg
SOUTH FALLSBURG August 6, 2004 On Tuesday night, dozens of community members attended a free town barbecue and basketball tournament at the basketball court in South Fallsburg to celebrate National Night Out.
The event was chiefly organized by Eddie Liotard, an officer with the Town of Fallsburg Police Department. He is also a school resource officer at Fallsburg Central School. He said the event was held so that the community supports itself and shows solidarity.
The Town of Fallsburg Board, Fallsburg Police Department and South Fallsburg in Bloom all contributed to the event.
The 3 on 3 basketball tournament was fiercely competitive. The night began with teams of 10-11 year olds. As the night went on, older competitors showed up.
One of the most impressive of the younger players was Rakkir Watson, who displayed extraordinary ball handling skills, penetration ability and shooting grace.
His teammates and opponents also appeared talented beyond their years. Colin Moretti, Corey Washington and Matt Frunzi were also impressive players in the event.
The team of Moretti, Washington and Joe Smith won the first hard-fought battle, and then continued to play into the night.
Winners were awarded trophies. Glow necklaces were handed out to light the community when dusk settled. Norris Gilmore donated his turntables for musical entertainment.
Town of Fallsburg Police Chief Brent Lawrence commended Liotard for his efforts.
He did all of the work, Lawrence said. I gave him the ball and he ran with it.
The town board was very instrumental in their support.
Liotard had big compliments for Ruby Gold and Alan Lipsky. He said they were a really big part of this.
They helped me tremendously, he said. They got the barbecue and food.
Indeed, Lipsky was seen cutting watermelon, cooking hot dogs and hamburgers throughout the night. Dozens of children and parents feasted on the overflowing food and refreshments.
Lipsky and South Fallsburg in Bloom helped to install lights at the court this past June. The court is now open for nighttime play until after midnight in the summer. Lipsky expects those hours to narrow down once school starts.
Dawn Perneszi, who works at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg, and is also a PTA member, said the event brings the community together and creates a family. She was also promoting community groups to attendees.
Town of Fallsburg Supervisor Steven Levine said he was glad the Town of Fallsburg is getting involved in [National Night Out.]
I want to thank the Fallsburg Police Department and South Fallsburg in Bloom for putting it together, Levine said.
Town Councilman Neil Gilberg said the town will be looking forward to doing more and more of these in the future.