GRAND RAPIDS (WWJ) — Consumers Energy will be joined by West Michigan area broadcast media, law enforcement officers and governmental officials to host an early morning kick-off Tuesday, Aug. 6 promoting the 30th Annual National Night Out in Grand Rapids.

On-air personality Andy Rent from “The River” 100.5 FM is scheduled to join Eva Aguirre Cooper from WOOD TV 8 to broadcast live from Consumers Energy’s office east of US-131, between 36th and 44th streets. The broadcasters are scheduled to interview local mayors and law enforcement representatives in support of NNO. Two large Consumers Energy utility trucks will have their buckets extended 75 feet above U.S. 131 to help draw attention to the event from 5 to 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“The purpose of the event is to heighten awareness of crime and drug prevention. We thank WOOD TV 8 and ‘The River’ 100.5 FM for helping us promote that message,” said Michele A. Kirkland, Consumers Energy vice president of energy operations. “We also appreciate the support we receive from our cities and law enforcement agencies. It helps us make good on our Promise to Michigan to work together for safer communities.” Kirkland said.

Consumers Energy representatives, along with local organizers, governmental leaders and law enforcement officials from Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Rockford, Walker, Wyoming and the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, will host the event outside the utility’s Clay Avenue service center. Refreshments, including donuts and coffee donated by local businesses, will be provided.

Consumers Energy employees and law enforcement officials will be distributing energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs while they last. CFLs, an important part of the utility’s energy efficiency program, use up to 75 percent less energy than a normal incandescent bulb, can last up to nine years and are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, including porch lights.

For the 19th consecutive year, Consumers Energy was recognized by the National Association of Town Watch as the recipient of a “National Electric Utility Award” for its participation in the 29th Annual NNO in 2012.

National Night Out, a year-long community building campaign, is designed to:
Heighten crime prevention awareness;
Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs;
Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and
Send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

The 2013 NNO event is expected to be the largest ever, involving approximately 37.5 million people in 16,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world. Local residents are encouraged to participate by turning on their porch lights from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and to take part in any community activities planned.

NNO also includes a number of neighborhood and community-level events to support anti-crime efforts. In the Grand Rapids area, events include the South Kent Night Out Against Crime, organized by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, from 4-8 p.m. outside Peppino’s Restaurant, 1515 Eastport Drive SE. Consumers Energy is among the participants at this free event, which will also include an appearance by a Michigan State Police helicopter, a Consumers Energy truck, fire and police vehicles, equipment and displays, games, food, prizes, music and dancing.

NNO is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and is co-sponsored locally by Target and Consumers Energy.

In addition to the Grand Rapids area events, Consumers Energy is participating in NNO activities taking place in Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Homer, Bronson, Jackson, Flint, Saginaw Township, St. Johns, East Tawas, Pontiac and Farmington.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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