Wissinoming PAL Girls Learn Self-Defense
On March 27th, participants from Wissinoming PAL’s Positive Images Girls Mentoring Program learned new techniques that may keep them safe one day. Their PAL Center Director, P/O Mike Panerello, taught a self-defense lesson using his knowledge as a Philadelphia Police Officer.
P/O Panerello reviewed safety tactics before diving into strength-enhancing moves. He told the young ladies to never talk on the phone or wear headphones when walking outside, as doing so decreases awareness of surroundings. He encouraged the girls to avoid confrontation at all costs and to only become physical if they absolutely must defend themselves.
P/O Panerello taught the girls methods to gain power, as well as a proper protective stance. The young ladies greatly enjoyed the interactive lesson while learning how to defend themselves.
PAL thanks P/O Panerello for bringing a creative and important lesson to the PAL Positive Images program.
A Shopping Dream Came True for PAL Girls
On April 1st, the young ladies of PAL spent the night shopping for prom attire at the 6th annual Cozen Prom Boutique. Nearly 200 girls from PAL’s Positive Images mentoring program were rewarded with this free shopping experience for their participation and commitment to PAL’s after-school programming.
For months, PAL supporters have been collecting formal attire, shoes and accessories for this extraordinary event. Efforts were led by event founder Nancy Rounbehler of Cozen O’Connor and Linda Wert from Archbishop Carroll High School. The event is a great self-esteem builder for the ladies and truly enhances the Positive Images program.
Volunteers from Independence Blue Cross Blue Crew, Archbishop Carroll, Cozen O’Connor and Harmelin Media helped the young ladies find beautiful dresses, accessories, nail polish and shoes for their special night. Makeup artists from Blue Mercury taught the girls how to apply makeup that complements their dress selection and skin type. Each PAL participant received a new makeup and brush kit to bring home.
PAL thanks Nancy, Linda and all volunteers and donors for another successful Cozen Prom Boutique!
Jameel Coles – remember that name. Coles, the latest PAL wrestler to find success on the mat, is only the second person from Southeastern Pennsylvania to win the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championship not once, but twice. The 7th grader, who wrestles in Port Richmond’s Rizzo PAL Center, won in 2010 and 2014, making it the third time a PAL wrestler won the event. Current Duke University star Evan Botwin won in 2008. Coach Ed Schnider and Rizzo PAL Officer Ernie Rehr are extremely proud of Coles, who has been with PAL since he was a small child. “He pinned his way through the tournament,” said Schneider.
Congratulations to Coles on his recent success. The entire Police Athletic League of Philadelphia is rooting for you and thrilled to be able to call you a PAL!
An Exciting End to Winter Activities
Hundreds of enthusiastic PAL children and teens glided through the night during one last evening of winter fun at Penn’s Class of 1923 Arena. Youngsters from across Philadelphia enjoyed a special ice-skating experience, courtesy of Coca-Cola and the University of Pennsylvania. Children of all ages were provided with skates, three hours of ice-time, dinner and an enjoyable night with friends.
The arena was filled with excitement and joy as members from all PAL centers came together at Penn’s historic rink. Although many of the youngsters were nervous as they first tip-toed onto the ice, within a few minutes, they effortlessly zipped around the rink, smiling, laughing and having fun in the company of their friends and PAL officers. Some of the younger kids who hadn’t skated before didn’t want to miss out on the thrill. Despite not knowing how to skate, they used safety cones for balance as volunteers from Lower Merion High School’s hockey team taught them how to push-off and slide around.
PAL thanks University of Pennsylvania and Coca-Cola for providing such a rewarding treat to all attendees. They stayed active and engaged thanks to you! Check back in 2018 to see if any of these kids go all the way to the next Winter Olympic Games!
Guest Blogger: P/O Bill Schneider
The Tacony PAL center ran its annual wiffleball league last fall, which was a huge success. More than 160 boys and girls from the area participated in the league, having fun, staying safe and remaining physically active. Children were awarded with trophies and ribbons for their participation in the league.
On November 13, 2013, we hosted the Bobby Henon / Philly Play Day at the PAL center. Thanks to our partnership with Councilman Henon, we were able to have visitors from Costello’s Boxing Gym, New World MMA, Vick Adenos Crossfit, LA Fitness, Rocko MMA and Sluggerville Baseball and Muscle Maker Grille supplied families with coupons for healthy food. Each of these organizations talked with the kids and stressed the importance of healthy lifestyles. It was a great day for community partnerships and kids left with awareness of active, fit and healthy living.
The Tacony PAL Flag Football League took place in November and December and culminated with the championship game on December 16th. The Vikings defeated The Unstoppables 69 to 67. All participants were rewarded with trophies and ribbons for their dedication to staying active during the winter.
Tacony PAL is currently running the Positive Images Girls Mentoring Program, which continues through May. The young ladies are learning different types of dance and fitness routines, creating arts and crafts and advancing friendships with their mentors and peers.
Tacony PAL is looking forward to exciting spring and summer activities, including indoor soccer leagues and basketball clinics. Please visit the center to enroll – 4401 Aldine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19136, or call Police Officer Bill Schneider at (215)335-4656.
Tacony Pal thanks all organizations who supported our mission of “Cops Helping Kids.”
PAL Celebrates Reading with Temple Basketball Game
More than 80 youngsters from across the City spent two months discovering new books and revisiting old favorites this winter. After completing at least four book reports, Reading Program participants were rewarded with a celebration at Temple University Diamond Club on March 4th.
To kick off the program, PAL centers received new books to add to their libraries. Each participant was required to read four books, though many avid readers far exceeded that goal. Due to their literary achievements, the young bookworms were treated to a fun night at a Temple Men’s Basketball game.
Attendees had dinner with Temple Football players, cheerleaders, dancers and Hooter T. Owl while listening to inspirational messages from PAL Chairman Jeff Hendrey, PAL Education Committee Chair Athole G. Jacobi, M. D. and NFL Super Bowl winner and Temple alum Raheem Brock. All speakers encouraged the children to make time for leisure reading every day.
PAL thanks Jeff Hendrey, Athole G. Jacobi, M. D. and Raheem Brock for enhancing this fun and rewarding program.
Second Annual Sweetheart Dance a Huge Success
Southwest PAL was transformed into a Valentine’s wonderland on February 27th when more than 150 girls and their fathers or male role models attended PAL’s second annual Sweetheart Dance. The event has grown tremendously only one year after institution. Guests enjoyed dinner, danced and had their picture taken at the open-air photo booth. They also heard from a former PAL Positive Images coordinator and her father who shared inspiring messages about the importance of the role of father figures in a child’s life.
The young ladies had a chance to win special prizes generously donated by PAL’s Immediate Past Chair, Sylvia T. Nisenbaum, Esq. The winners were excited to walk home with a gift in addition to the memories made.
During the event, ACME was recognized for their contribution to PAL’s Positive Images Girls Mentoring Program. “We truly appreciate our friends at ACME for supporting our youth development programming which allows PAL to host great events like the Sweetheart Dance,” said PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli.
PAL thanks all participants and organizers for a fun and memorable Sweetheart Dance.