HICKORY – Young men in maroon shirts behind Hickory Police Department patrol officer David Lee, 24, danced with him to the song “Wobble” in a video that went viral last month.
The video has been viewed more than 7.5 million times since Hickory resident Margo Carlton uploaded it to Facebook after the first ever Ridgeview Community Block Party on June 18.
Nearly 200 people attended the block party, due to the efforts of the maroon-shirted men and the Hickory Police Department, Steve Davenport, of Hickory, said.
Those young men are among the 30 members of the Hickory Chapter of the Kappa League that Davenport leads.
The Kappa League of Hickory and the Hickory Police Department hosted the last block party, which aspired to bring police officers and Ridgeview community members together.
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The group hopes that the next Ridgeview Community Block Party, which they are also helping host, scheduled for 6-9 p.m. Thursday at Taft Broome Park is just as much of a success as the last one.
“This Thursday, I’m looking forward to having a bigger number of people [attend the block party]," Kappa League member Ty Williams, 16, said. “Hopefully, that video really helps us get lots of participation Thursday.”
Another Hickory Kappa League member Seneca Lytle, 17, said he hopes word of the block party reaches Hickory residents beyond Ridgeview.
“I would like to see more people from different areas come out and have fun with us, so we can all come together and just be people,” Lytle said.
Davenport said the Kappa League members are helping to spread the word about the event to the community, as they did with the last block party.
“They are so good on social media,” Davenport said. “They reach their friend base and then (their friends) bring their parents.”
Williams added that Kappa League members helped put up signs advertising the last block party in the community. Kappa League members also assisted the police in setting up and cleaning up the June 18 event.
The Kappa League is a program for male students run by the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. As the alumni president of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for Hickory, Davenport leads the Kappa League of Hickory.
The group aims to provide educational, occupational, and social guidance for men in grades six through 12.
While Kappa League members are predominantly African American, anyone is welcome to join, Davenport said.
Hickory Police Department Lt. Vidal Sipe said Kappa League members had a positive presence at the last block party.
“They… intermingled with the police and the community and that always helps,” Sipe said.
Sipe said his aim for the upcoming block party has not changed.
“The goal is the same: to bridge that gap between law enforcement and the community,” Sipe said.