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Photo-story: NNO 2022 celebrates first responder-community connection

As you might expect, Bluffton's National Night Out 2022 began with a big splash and ended with an even bigger bang on August 2.

The Bluffton and Pandora police departments--with the help of area fire departments, EMS, highway patrol and park rangers--put on the annual community celebration for area families that begins with free admission to Bluffton Community Pool and ends with fireworks sponsored by Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce donors. (YouTube video of finale HERE.)

The event is part of a national community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships.

"Glowing" under their protective gear, the hosts of National Night Out 2022 were lucky to have an evening of perfect pool weather. Lieutenant Matt Oglesbee reports that the hosts distributed 1,800 hotdogs, 1,500 bags of chips, 2,000 bottles of water, 1,200 cans of soda, 1,200 bags of popcorn, countless sno-cones, 500 rootbeer floats, and 1,000 ice cream cones. These treats are all free. "We were able to give out all that we had available so that makes it a great success!" he noted.

The first responders were supported by volunteers who served food and assisted with activities. The longest lines weren't for food, they were for rides on antique Bluffton and Pandora fire trucks. Other attractions were inflatable games, bouce houses, face painting and, courtesy of Johnny Appleseed Park District naturalists, creatures to see up close and touch (very carefully). Given the bright, hot conditions, some who couldn't swim during the event suggested a post-NNO swim for next year.

All kinds of fire and rescue equipment were on display, providing youngers with a chance to sit in the driver seat and meet first responders.

Dozens of donors (below) contributed funds and supplies for the event. Thanks were given out on the PA system and on The Wit radio, 96.1 FM, which played music to accompany the fireworks.

The fireworks display began with elements in memory of Bluffton Police office Dominic Francis and honoring police, fire and EMS workers in our community. A video of the grand finale reflected in Buckeye Lake can be viewed HERE.


A To Z Meats

Axe Ventura Findlay

Basinger Law Office

Bassett Family

Beaverdam Fire Dept

Bluffton Chamber of Commerce

Bluffton EMS

Bluffton Fire Dept

Bluffton High School Boys Soccer

Bluffton High School Girls Soccer

Bluffton Hospital

Bluffton Pool Staff

Bluffton Marathon

Bluffton Council and Mayor

Bluffton Methodist Church

Bluffton Presbyterian Church

Bluffton Schools

Bluffton University Football

Bluffton University Radio 96.1 - The Wit

Bluffton Veterinary Hospital

Circle K


Community Markets

Curling Iron

Diamond Manufacturing

Dick Boehr

Ebenezer Church

Ed Reichenbach State Farm

Everence Financial

Family Eyecare

First National Bank

Fortman Insurance

Gary's Repair

Gilbert Family


Hancock Tire

JB Nygaard Photography

J&D Excavating

Johnny Appleseed Park District

Judy Miller

Jon Diller Attorney

Kindle Family

Kiene's Recreation

Langan Family Finds

Leibers Garage

Matthew Jordan DDS

M&R Plumbing and Heating


Mehaffie Family

Northwest Ohio Recycling

Ohio State Patrol

Pandora Fire Dept

Pandora Flooring

Pandora Grain/Supply



Ring Family

Scott Basinger Law Office

Shirley's Popcorn

St. Mary's Catholic Church

Steinmetz Family

Swartz Restoration

Ted's Market

The Centre

The Pizzeria

Tommy Tire

Village of Bluffton

Village Cut n Curl

Walmart #3206 Harding HWY


National Association of Town Watch, Ring, Associa, Starbucks, FirstNet with AT&T, Renewal by Anderson