On Saturday, April 30, the City of Sparks held a “Sparks Proud” event at Sparks High School, inviting the community to come out and explore the opportunities that exist within its departments.
“It was organized by the Sparks Police department, but we had every department out there,” says Sparks City Councilman Donald Abbott. “From HR to Building to police, fire, and Public Works, we had equipment and toys out there such as street sweepers, SWAT vehicles, and a fire truck,” he adds.
The Sparks Proud event was held to get people engaged with the community while helping to plant seeds for the future.
“We want to get kids engaged, show that they can maybe be a police officer or our next city manager,” Abbott says.
During the five-hour event, food trucks sold tacos and ice cream, kids grabbed toys and stickers and sit on police motorcycles. The police department did demonstrations with its K9 unit and kids took part in yard games. It was a wholesome, family-friendly event with around a couple thousand people in attendance.
When asked what his favorite part of the event was, Abbott replies, “Having it at Sparks High School – because it holds a special place in my heart- and seeing the people I grew up with, my neighbors, and even people who I met while I was campaigning there. It was nothing but smiles and good times; people just showed up and had fun.”
Abbott graduated from Sparks High School in 2008 and says that he doesn’t remember the City of Sparks ever having an event like this when he was attending the high school, so this was a way for the City to introduce residents of all ages career opportunities available.
“[In high school] I always thought that you had to know someone to get into a job at the city, I didn’t realize that anyone can apply. This was all about breaking those barriers down…and the cool thing is that we don’t know who our next police chief or city councilmember will be,” he says.
As the president of the Sparks High School Alumni Association as well, Abbott enjoyed seeing his fellow members graduate and give back to the City of Sparks, paving the way for the next generation. “It was cool to see it come full circle.”
Although “Sparks Proud” is a once-a-year event, Abbott believes that this will be the first of many