Wonderful things can result from different groups coming together with a mission to brighten the lives of people – especially children – in their community. that of last saturday “Cops, Pops and Community” at Wheeling’s Heritage Port provided a shining example of the success that can come from this teamwork.
The Ziegenfelder Company, the Wheeling-based company that is the largest American maker of Twin Pops, the Wheeling Police Department, YSS, the YWCA of Wheeling, Men of Change and others, met on “Cops, Pops and Community” as a way to unify the people of the region after times of turmoil.
When the event was originally conceived last year, it was about smoothing the waters following examples of riots and social injustice. After the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the Ohio Valley, last weekend’s event also provided a fun time for kids and families looking for something to do now that pandemic restrictions have been removed.
And there was a lot to do at Heritage Port. Children bounced, climbed and glided on inflatables while their parents took photos and videos. Disney Princesses helped children string beads to make bracelets and necklaces.
The children joined the Wheeling cops in three-legged relays and potato sack races. Everyone got to enjoy free hot dogs, chips, soda and popsicles while a DJ got everyone dancing to energetic music.
As important as it was to help families have fun during the summer, the event took on another level of significance, as Men of Change member Ron Scott mentioned. As many across the country are calling for unity in their neighborhoods, this event was a tangible example.
“A lot of people see the demonstrations, the protests, that sort of thing across the country as… a sign that we should do something, we should fix the systems,” Scott said. “But they have to watch events like this and signs that we are improving, we can do better, there are places that know how to do it. So we should be as much of a beacon with events like this as we do with protesters and protesters. “
People from various backgrounds were able to enjoy the festivities last Saturday. In the quest to build bridges between different parts of the community, “Cops, Pops and Community” showed everyone that Wheeling can take this step forward by creating this sense of oneness.
With a bit of luck, “Cops, Pops and Community” will become a summer staple at Heritage Port. And, hopefully, it can spur more community groups to come together around the common cause of bringing everyone in the Ohio Valley a little closer together.