The inaugural National Night Out held in front of the old gym in Dearing was termed "highly successful" last Tuesday night, according to one of the event organizers.
"We're very pleased with how well received the people of Dearing supported our first National Night Out in McDuffie County," sheriff's Deputy Barry Whitfield said. "We're hoping to do another such event next year."
National Night Out was a way to bring residents, including children, out to meet emergency services workers in McDuffie County. It also was a way for residents to show their support for law enforcement and the fight against crime throughout the county.
"Everybody seemed to have had a great time," Deputy Whitfield said. "I know all of us did."
Alison Luckey, 12, of Dearing, said eating and being with friends was the best part of National Night Out -- an event held in communities across the country to bring residents and law enforcement personnel closer.
"These hot dogs are delicious," Alison said, as she walked around with her friends Danielle Churchy and Courtney Adams. "I just love them."
Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley found that getting wet was just the way to cool off on a hot night.
The mayor, who agreed to sit in the dunking tank, became the target of many -- mostly youngsters. And he paid the price for it when they hit the target with a softball as he fell from his perch into cool waters.
"This is all about having fun," Mr. Kelley said.
Mary Ann Prosnak, of Dearing, decided to picnic with her grandchildren -- Savannah Hymer, Blake Prosnak, Tyler Prosnak and Jonathan Rachels.
"I love it; we're really having a good time," Mrs. Prosnak said, while enjoying the free hot dogs and hamburgers and other food courtesy of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department.
Becky Craven, donning her Dale Earnhardt cooking outfit, was one of those who helped prepare the food. She was assisted by Tracy Neal, Dwayne Sewell and Reggie Jones.
"It's nice to see so many people having such a good time," said Mrs. Craven, a 911 dispatcher.
Even Sheriff Logan Marshall got in on the fun -- in the Hula Hoop contest.
"I can't believe I let them talk me into that," said Sheriff Marshall, with a laugh.