Call it a friendly rivalry – The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia and its Dallas counterpart, the Dallas Police Athletic League, took to social media to have some fun and support their respective hometown football teams. The two PAL chapters have a little wager in place in regard to the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys game on Thanksgiving.
Dubbed #PALTurkeyBowl, the twitter-fueled competition began as a simple back-and-forth regarding the upcoming divisional challenge on Turkey Day. Encouraging messages from PAL kids, police, and staffers were being posted online in support of the Eagles and the Cowboys.
Then things got interesting.
Dallas and Philly decided to make things a bit juicier by putting a couple hometown favorites on the line: If the Cowboys win, Philly will send Dallas a package of Philly PAL T-Shirts and gear, as well as some delicious Philadelphia favorites – TastyKake. If the Birds win, Dallas will send Philly some Dallas PAL gear and some Pecan Lodge BBQ food. Additionally, the losing team’s staff will wear the other city’s PAL shirts for a day.
It will be a great game, but one thing is certain: Philly PAL kids think Dallas is making a Texas-sized mistake by betting against the Eagles.
For up-to-date info on #PALTurkeyBowl, search for the hashtag #PALTurkeyBowl and follow PAL on twitter @PhillyPAL.
PAL Members Focus on Anti-Bullying through Interactive Lessons
In honor of October’s National Bullying Prevention Month, PAL hosted two exciting and interactive lessons at centers across Philadelphia. PAL partnered with Ethical Music Entertainment to educate and encourage youth to take a stand against bullying. The events also contributed towards PAL’s goal of achieving No Place for Hate designations from the Anti-Defamation League.
Attendees watched parts of a documentary by iChoose2Live to learn about the ramifications of bullying. iChoose2Live is a nonprofit organization that utilizes performing and media arts to facilitate positive youth development among adolescents and young adults between 12 to 24 years of age living in urban communities. Kids watched a theatrical bullying intervention exhibit by performer, Mr. Russell, who motivated the teens and parents to do their part to prevent bullying in their communities.
The program culminated in an exciting performance by recording artist BriaMarie. She spoke to the youngsters about her personal experiences as a victim of bullying and encouraged them to tell an adult if they are in a similar situation which was “the best decision I ever made,” she said. BriaMarie sang her latest hit, “C. C. I. (Cool Crowd Issues),” a song to inspire kids and teens to accept themselves without compromising who they are in order to fit in.
PAL thanks Ethical Music Entertainment and all supporting performers for such fun and educational Bullying Prevention Month events, and the Philadelphia 76ers for providing each youngster with a ticket to a Sixers home game for their commitment to positive programming.
By: Sandy Harris, Senior Development Coordinator and Auction Manager
I don’t want to date myself, but today I think I will as I reflect on my dear friend Sally Berlin and what she meant to me.
I remember going to the placement office at Peirce Jr. College and looking at the job board. There on the board, on a 3×5 card, was a listing for a job with the Police Athletic League, a telephone number, and a name: Sally Berlin. Not knowing much about the organization then, I thought to myself, “how hard could it be working at an athletic club for police officers?”
You can imagine my surprise when I showed up at 4th and Market Streets and walked inside of Continental Bank (where PAL’s Development and Communications team was housed) and asked for Sally Berlin. I was escorted to a small section in the back of the bank and there was Sally, small in stature, but spirited and kind. I can recall Sally sitting me at a desk with a typewriter, handing me a letter, and asking me to type. That was my interview – she took the letter and said she would get back to me. By the time I got home several hours later, my mother said “some lady named Sally Berlin called and she said you got the job.” Later, I found out I got the job because I typed the letter with no mistakes – a skill Sally found to be invaluable.
That was my first experience with Sally. When I started working at PAL, there was a very small, but dedicated staff. Because of Sally, I was able to see firsthand what multitasking meant. Sally could promote PAL, fundraise, and recruit new Board members with great ease. She was connected to everyone, and she built lasting relationships with Philadelphia’s business, civic, and philanthropic leaders.
Working with Sally and getting to know her is something that I will always treasure. I learned so much from seeing her in action. If she called you in regard to a donation and you didn’t call her back, you can bet she would persistently call you until you told her when she could expect the check. She never took no for an answer and knew how to make everyone she talked to feel special.
Sally cared about the youth of Philadelphia and wanted to make sure that they had a safe place to go after school. She would do whatever she could for PAL and would tell anyone who would listen about the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia. It was her passion.
I feel it is an honor and a privilege to have worked with Sally Berlin, and to call her my friend.
New Kings of PAL Chess Crowned on Penn’s Campus
More than 120 PAL members from various Philadelphia neighborhoods competed to be crowned the King or Queen of this year’s Citywide Chess Tournament sponsored by Anne and Andrew Abel. The final night of competition was held at University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium on October 2nd.
The children and teens played in two regional tournaments before advancing to the finals. Beyond the thrill of mental competition, the youngsters met and played against other PAL members while exercising strategy, discipline and reason.
PAL congratulates the winners in each age group: Saron from Logan PAL (12-and-Under), John from Rizzo PAL (15-and-Under), and Terry from Gibbons PAL (18-and-Under). All participants were commended for their hard work and dedication and received a medal and new chess set to commemorate the close of this year’s chess season.
PAL thanks Anne and Andrew Abel for their generosity and support of such rewarding and educational programming.
To see more photos from the tournament, visit PAL’s Flickr.
On September 20, 2014, the Temple Owls took on Delaware State at Lincoln Financial Field. Aside from Temple’s whopping 59-0 win, there was tons of excitement at the game that day – PAL Board Member Athole G Jacobi, M.D. hosted the 11th annual PAL Day at Temple Football.
PAL Day at Temple Football, which allows nearly 40 PAL kids from Philadelphia’s inner-city communities to attend a collegiate football game, is one of PAL’s most exciting events of the year. Prior to the start of the game, PAL kids and teens lined the field and greeted the hometown Owls with high-fives as they ran out from the tunnel and onto the field. Children especially enjoyed getting to interact with the players during this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Kids were then invited into the stands where they watched the Owls in action.
During the third quarter, Dr. Jacobi and leadership from PAL and Temple University took the field for a special check presentation ceremony. Dr. Jacobi presented a generous $15,000 gift to PAL in honor of PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids.” Dr. Jacobi’s generosity will support the needs of thousands of children and teens through PAL’s educational, athletic, and mentoring programs throughout Philadelphia.
PAL thanks Dr. Jacobi and Temple University for their continued support. This longstanding partnership has benefited thousands of kids.
PAL Soars into Lincoln Financial Field; Partners with Coca-Cola and Eagles to Teach Kids about Healthy Living
On Monday, September 29, dozens of PAL kids participated in Coca-Cola’s Get the Ball Rolling initiative at The Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field.
Coca-Cola and the Philadelphia Eagles teamed up to host a youth football clinic that introduced inner-city kids to active and healthy lifestyles, fitness, and nutrition.
This football-themed event provided an opportunity for boys and girls from PAL to take part in activities on the same field that their hometown Eagles play on! Kids participated in drills that allowed them to stay physically active, learn football techniques, catch touchdowns, and play where the pros do.
During the event, excited children were able to interact with Eagles’ Punter Donnie Jones, spend time with everyone’s favorite mascot, Swoop, and enjoy meeting the Eagles Cheerleaders.
Participants were also treated to a special VIP dinner where they heard from a nutritionist and Eagles’ Linebacker Emmanuel Acho.
PAL thanks Coca-Cola and the Philadelphia Eagles for providing our PAL kids with a thrilling and insightful experience.
PAL Kids are Ready for a New School Year
On September 10th more than 50 Harrowgate PAL youngsters celebrated the start of a new school year. Youngsters heard about the importance of staying in school and getting an education before receiving healthy snacks provided by Wawa.
Led by Adam Schall, The Friends of PAL volunteer group organized activities and collected funds to outfit each child with a new book bag filled with school supplies. This philanthropic group donates their time to Harrowgate PAL weekly during the school year to assist the children with homework, one-on-one literacy and math tutoring and play fun games.
Additionally, PAL distributed 400 book bags packed with school supplies to all centers in its network. Thanks to our generous supporters, PAL centers are stocked throughout the year with supplies to help young students complete their assignments during daily Homework Club.
PAL thanks Adam Schall and volunteers for their commitment to the success and livelihood of Harrowgate PAL members, and to all partners who support educational initiatives.