In less than two weeks, our public-services department will play host to its fourth Touch-a-Truck event, which has become a late summer staple for many families with small children in and around New Albany.

More than 1,500 people are likely to attend this free event 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at 7800 Bevelhymer Road, where children (and even the young at heart) have an opportunity to get behind the wheels of and climb on the community's largest and loudest vehicles, from police cruisers and Plain Township fire engines and medic vehicles, to street sweepers, sewer-camera trucks, leaf-collection trucks and snow plows.

Children also will get to rub elbows and ask as many questions as they would like of police officers, public-services employees and firefighters.

A fire-safety house also will help residents devise exit strategies from smoke-filled homes.

There is more than a little something in the day for parents, as well. Not only will children have a great time, but they can be registered with the New Albany Police Department's "Ident-a-Kid" child-identity program. Doing so will provide pictures and fingerprints of children in case of an emergency.

Lunch will be provided for free, and if it rains, we still encourage you to come out. We will move many of the activities indoors in the public-services bays.

Plus, the public-services department is conveniently located next to Bevelhymer Park, so it will be very easy for anyone at the park in the morning or early afternoon to come on over to Touch-a-Truck for some fun and free food.

If you plan to attend, we ask that you bring a few canned or boxed food items to benefit the Village Coalition Against Hunger.

Requested food items for donation include boxed breakfast cereal, granola bars, peanut butter and canned chicken or tuna.

No cash donations can be accepted at Touch-a-Truck, but we can take your food donations.

If you would like to donate cash or food directly to the coalition, visit

Scott McAfee is chief communications and marketing officer for New Albany.