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Bloch Park to have community event

Bloch Park is holding a cadre of activities on Saturday in an all-inclusive event dubbed “Community Prevention Day.”

“We’re going to have all these activities going on so (kids) will have something to do,” said Selma Police Athletic League director Dorothy Cowan. “If we keep them busy and doing something constructive, they won’t get in trouble.”

The Maxeyball 3-on-3 basketball tournament tops the list. The Police Athletic League sponsors the event in honor of former Selma High basketball coach Willie Maxey.

It starts at 8 a.m. in Bloch Park’s upper parking lot. Up to eight games will be played simultaneously on eight portable basketball goals.

Twenty teams have signed up for the event, but Cowan expects more.

“That’s still not the total amount we’re going to have,” she said. “I’ve got eight basketball goals, and I plan on having games going on with each basketball goal.”

She hopes another 10 to 20 teams will sign up at a 3 p.m. participation drive today at the Selma Mall. Teams are requested to donate $10 per player to participate, but those without money will not be turned away.

For people who aren’t participating in the tournament, other options are available at Bloch Park. A Back to School Fest, Cops and Kids Day and Fire Prevention Day are scheduled.

Cops and Kids Day is an annual event that provides police and kids an opportunity to interact. Horseshoes, a cakewalk and other games are offered. Additionally, the officers will talk to kids about the dangers of drugs and gangs.

“Most kids, when they see a police officer, they get very afraid,” said Cowan. “We want them to be comfortable with us.”

Back to School Fest prepares parents and kids for the upcoming school year and gives away school supplies. Firefighters will discuss fire prevention with children and pass out prevention literature as well.

The combined events provide the children with activities and give Selma police an avenue through which to communicate with them.

“We’re getting ridiculous with crime,” said Cowan. “We’re trying to get to the kids before they get started down that road.”