Tacony PAL Youngsters Stayed Active through Spring and Summer
Guest Blogger: Tacony PAL Center Director P/O Bill Schneider
Kids at Tacony PAL have been busier than ever that past several months. Spring programming started with a 12-and-Under basketball league which hosted 120 boys and girls. After many practices and head-to-head games, players received a trophy or medal for their participation and dedication to their team.
On June 1st, a friend of PAL arranged for members of Tacony PAL to spend an afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. Attendees took swings in the cages during batting practice, worked with Phillies coaches to hone their fielding skills, and were even treated to the Phillies game against the New York Mets.
Tacony youngsters were excited to meet PAL members from across the City through PAL’s summer programs with Kids on the Hill golf and Legacy Youth tennis. Golfers enjoyed a junior golf classic and week-long golf camp at the end of the season. We also had a great time learning about butterflies at the Academy of Natural Science by Drexel University during the Wawa Welcome America celebrations.
Summer programs came to an end with the annual Tacony PAL Camp. More than 50 kids participated in tons of activities and contests during the week of August 18th. They did arts and crafts, played flag football and wiffleball and went on several day trips to Pennypack Environmental Center, Smith Memorial Playground and more. They heard from guest speaker, former Philadelphia Eagles Linebacker Mike Reichenbach who encouraged the kids to stay involved at PAL and signed autographs. They also met with Todd Pride from the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program who taught them fishing techniques as they competed for new equipment prizes. Campers spent a day with Phil McGurk at Liberty Bell Bicycles where they learned about bike parts and practiced repairing flat tires. They enjoyed water ice after a day of working hard on their bikes.
PAL thanks everyone who helped make spring and summer at Tacony PAL one to remember, including Wawa who provided lunch for all campers.
Check out more photos of Tacony PAL’s exciting Spring and Summer here!
PAL Youngsters Very Active in Summer Programming
After months of fun in the sun with PAL’s citywide baseball, tennis and golf programs, kids had an exciting end to summer with several week-long camps and trips in August. Hundreds of youngsters across Philadelphia were engaged in positive programming and physical activities through PAL’s offerings.
The month began with a week at Junior Golf Camp. Many players honed their skills during PAL’s summer golf program with the Greater Philadelphia First Tee and Kids on the Hill. The young golfers spent camp playing at various local courses and finished with a scrimmage at Juniata Golf Club. Participants received several awards for participation and remarkable achievement. Two youngsters were even recognized for being outstanding campers and received a set of brand new golf clubs and a bag.
August continued with Girls Basketball Camp. More than 60 young ladies filled the gym at Harrowgate PAL to practice drills and teamwork on and off the court. Participants were coached by PAL Officers, Sergeants and female college basketball players. The girls received trophies and plaques for great effort and sportsmanship during a ceremony on Friday, August 22nd.
Leading up to the unofficial end of summer, youngsters enjoyed a day at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom with their friends and PAL Officers.
PAL thanks all volunteers and participants for another great summer of positive programming for Philadelphia youth.
The 23rd annual PAL Golf Classic was held at the scenic Manufacturers’ Golf and Country Club on September 8, 2014. The sold-out fundraiser featured the highest guest attendance in the event’s history. The excitement around the event stemmed from the beautiful weather, a resurgence of new sponsors in addition to the dedicated donor base who have attended for many years, new contests, and the importance of supporting PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids”.
Event Chairs Michael Innocenzo of PECO and Scott Secor of Tasty Baking Company led a strong and hardworking committee to achieve a record-breaking goal by raising $168,000 for PAL! Special thanks to PAL’s Dinner Sponsor, Ron Krancer and Family, Lunch Sponsor Asplundh Tree Expert Company, and Gold Sponsors, including ABM, AlliedBarton Security Services, Frigidaire/Electrolux Major Appliances, and PECO.
Awards were presented to players in many competitive categories, including the announcement of the winning foursome from Henkels & McCoy, Inc. The final lucky winner, Board member Matthew Elkes of Almo, was named as the Get on the Green winner, a new contest that added a lot of buzz to the day. While many players walked away winners that night, it’s safe to say the true winners were the thousands of children PAL serves each and every day throughout the Philadelphia region who benefited from the sponsors’ generosity.
PAL’s Youngest Inventors Enjoy Week-Long Summer Camp
Seventy PAL youngsters attended Camp Invention during the week of August 18th to round out a summer of fun programming. First through seventh graders participated in interactive lessons to invent new machines, solve complex problems, and explore the impact of natural elements on various designs.
Campers learned about innovation by morphing their creations in each class. They assembled robotic cars, then changed certain attributes to make them fly and travel under water. They also made bug-themed pinball machines with donated recycled materials. Their “Pinbug” machines had a ball launcher, flippers and various obstacles that players navigated to score bonus points. Engineers from McKean Defense Group volunteered throughout the week to assist campers with safely deconstructing recycled electronics to use in their inventions.
Camp Invention wrapped up with an Inventors’ Showcase on Friday. Family, friends, and representatives from the Mayor’s Office of Innovation saw everything campers created throughout the week. Everyone received patent certificates for their Pinbug machines and awards for outstanding participation.
PAL thanks McKean Defense Group, and everyone who donated materials, for their continued support of Camp Invention.
The special event, which has been one of PAL’s most exciting fundraisers since 1978, brought in more than $40,000 for PAL’s youth development programming, thanks to generous donations from The Ron Krancer Family, The H. Chase and Ana Maria Lenfest Foundation, SugarHouse Casino, NECA/IBEW Local Union 98, Tasty Baking Company, Phillies Charities, Inc., and Harvey and Sylvia Nisenbaum.
Prior to the start of the Phillies game against the visiting Astros, event sponsors and local radio, television, web, and print personalities competed in the annual Sponsor & Media All-Star softball game on the field at Citizens Bank Park. The Television/ Print team provided stiff competition, but, ultimately, the Radio/ Web team stole the show with pitcher and game-MVP, Frank Lewis from WOGL. With the latest win, the all-time record now stands at 18-15-3 in favor of Team TV/ Print.
Following the softball game, PAL youngsters Autumn and Jetseea from Cozen PAL threw out the night’s first pitch. They were then greeted by Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard, who took pictures and signed autographs for them. The young ladies have been PAL members for more than nine years and consider this experience a true privilege and highlight of their time in PAL.
The Phillies put on a show during the game, decimating the Astros to the tune of a 10-3 score. As always, the Phillie Phanatic took some time out of his busy schedule to dance on the dugout with an excited group of youngsters from Bluford PAL.
Thanks to friends, sponsors, and The Phillies, PAL was able to enjoy a special night at the ballpark!
PAL Youngsters Hit it Out of the Park with Walmart
Hundreds of PAL youngsters spent the summer hitting homers and running the bases through the Walmart Baseball Program. Teams from PAL centers across Philadelphia participated in two citywide leagues: 12-and-Under and 14-and-Under, and two in-house leagues at Harrowgate and Gibbons PAL centers. The leagues each hosted hundreds of players. Volunteer coaches taught the basics of the game to beginners and helped more advanced players hone their skills.
Walmart has been a proud sponsor of the PAL Baseball Program for many years, helping youngsters learn the value of teamwork, dedication and good sportsmanship while remaining active during the summer months. Ford PAL’s 12-and -Under team was victorious after a tough match-up against Harrowgate PAL. Lighthouse PAL won the 14-and-Under league for the second year in a row, defeating stiff competition from Wissinoming PAL. Players and coaches enjoyed lunch after the games to celebrate their accomplishments.
PAL thanks Walmart for another successful season and commends all participants for their commitment to practices and games this summer!
PAL Boys to Men Program Spends a Fun Day in the Sun
On July 11th, 150 young men in PAL’s Boys to Men Mentoring Program spent the day outside learning about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and public art. The educational field day at Harrowgate PAL field brought together boys from neighborhoods across Philadelphia for one common purpose: having fun.
PAL partnered with New American Public Art to design an interactive curriculum that introduced participants to engineering and math-related fields. Teams of young men worked together with their PAL officers to weave basketball nets, design and assemble a life-size maze, create a “String Fling” sunburst art installation and try to build the tallest free-standing structure with PVC. PAL also worked with a local Lowe’s store on Aramingo Avenue who graciously provided woodworking project kits for participants to build. Instructors were on hand to teach basic construction skills and tool safety.
Employees from the Philadelphia 76ers volunteered their time and efforts to prepare the space before the field day. Their hard work ensured that every kid was safe to play and learn.
PAL thanks New American Public Art, Lowe’s of Aramingo and the Philadelphia 76ers for such a fun and unique learning experience for young men of PAL.
View more pictures on PAL’s Flickr.