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.
Sgt. Gus Rangnow Award Presented to Long-Time PAL Member
The 2013 Sgt. Gus Rangnow Award was presented to Demetrius Frye of Tacony PAL. Demetrius accepted the award at the PAL Board of Directors meeting on June 26th with his proud parents in attendance.
Demetrius has been an active PAL member for ten years, participating in many athletic and educational programs including Homework Club, Computer club, basketball, baseball, bowling, chess, 24 Math competitions and more. In his high school years, he returned as a volunteer to coach and mentor the younger children, the way he was mentored by Tacony PAL Center Director, P/O Bill Schneider. Outside of PAL, Demetrius played Varsity basketball and track at his school. He also received the Union League of Philadelphia’s Good Citizenship Award in 2013.
The award was established to commemorate one PAL member per year who embodies the spirit of Philadelphia PAL’s founder, Sgt. Gus Rangnow. Like past recipients, Demetrius embraced PAL’s mission through his dedication, leadership, positive attitude and sportsmanship.
PAL congratulates Demetrius and wishes him the best of luck at college next year.
PAL Celebrates the Freedom to Learn with Wawa
On June 30th, more than 100 youngsters from the Harrowgate, Tacony, Gibbons and Rizzo PAL centers attended Go 4th and Learn during the Wawa Welcome America celebrations. This interactive event showcased some of the fun and educational attractions Philadelphia has to offer.
Participants met at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University for Historical Story time where they heard from the Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff Everett Gillison, Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens and 6ABC Reporter Matt O’Donnell.
Youngsters also enjoyed a healthy lunch of classic Wawa hoagies and snacks as they perused museum exhibits such as Dinosaur Hall and Butterflies! where more than 20 butterfly species from around the world flutter around the tropical indoor garden. Every attendee left with a new drawstring bag full of Wawa goodies.
PAL thanks Wawa for including Philadelphia youngsters in this fun and educational annual event.
On June 27th, hundreds of PAL baseball players met at the fields at Belmont Plateau to do one thing: crush home runs. Boys and girls who participate in city-wide and in-house baseball leagues showed up at the fields ready to win the annual competition. This event, which kicks off the Walmart Citywide Baseball season, is collaboration between PAL, Walmart and the Phillies Home Run Derby team.
Hundreds of kids from different neighborhoods in Philadelphia took turns swinging for the fences. Children proudly wore their colorful new uniforms as they waited at home plate for perfectly thrown pitches to crack out of the park. Encouragement from coaches, friends and teammates made this event extra special.
Following a lunch break, winners were awarded plaques in different age groups, and a few children were even invited to participate in the next round of the Phillies Home Run Derby Competition! Children also heard from Walmart’s Rick Phillips, who presented PAL with a generous $25,000 donation to help make the baseball program possible for another year. Phillips reminded the kids to stay safe, off the streets and involved in wholesome activities during the summer months. The Walmart Baseball Program allows children to learn about the fundamentals of the game while also staying physically active and learning about teamwork and cooperation.
PAL thanks Walmart for their continued generosity!
PECO Powers Excitement at PAL Day at the Zoo
More than 200 PAL members enjoyed a day at the Philadelphia Zoo on June 23rd compliments of PECO and PAL Board member, Michael Innocenzo. This trip has been a great way to kick off summer programs for the past 13 years.
Participants received special gifts from PECO and brightly colored “PAL Day at the Zoo” shirts. They enjoyed a healthy lunch with volunteers from PECO in the Peacock Pavilion, where many attendees had their faces painted and played carnival games. A lucky bunch even won animal-themed raffle prizes.
Everyone enjoyed all that the Philadelphia Zoo had to offer, including sights of wandering peacocks, swinging primates, polar bears and much more. The youngsters loved KidsZooU where they brushed sheep and climbed through a specially-designed jungle gym like mountain goats. They were also astonished to see lions and pumas cross above their heads in the Zoo’s newest attraction, Big Cat Crossing.
PAL thanks PECO and Michael Innocenzo for another great PECO PAL Day at the Zoo!
PAL Scholarship Recipients Network with Sponsors at Annual Luncheon
On June 19th, PAL scholarship recipients enjoyed lunch at the Union League of Philadelphia with their sponsors and fellow students. Hosted by Tamala Edwards from 6abc, the program honored 200 deserving scholars pursuing higher education. In order to qualify for a PAL scholarship, applicants must demonstrate financial need, as well as academic achievement and an exemplary record of community service.
Attendees enjoyed remarks from noteworthy guest speakers including University of Pennsylvania Vice President for Public Safety and PAL Board Vice Chair Maureen Rush, M. S., CCP, Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Ross, Jr. and Point Breeze PAL Alumnus Donnielle Kirkland who was also awarded the Eliot C. Nisenbaum Memorial Scholarship to continue his graduate studies at Academy of Arts University. Each speaker shared inspiring messages and encouraged guests to succeed at school and work, while giving back to organizations like PAL.
The Anne Krancer Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Nadira Tarboro from Cozen PAL to pursue her Master’s in Business Administration at Eastern University. Nadira’s achievements through school and personal endeavors as well as her desire to utilize her education in the areas of health and wellness reflect Anne’s kind spirit, giving nature and love for education. One additional special scholarship was awarded to Jenna Torres from Point Breeze PAL. This scholarship, sponsored by Comcast SportsNet in memory of long-time PAL Board Member Sam Schroeder, also includes a week-long shadowing opportunity at Comcast SportsNet.
PAL thanks this year’s luncheon guests and all scholarship sponsors, including, Dr. and Mrs. Andrew and Anne Abel, Patricia Kind, the Ron Krancer Family, Dr. & Mrs. Harvey and Sylvia Nisenbaum, Verizon and Athole G. Jacobi, M.D., who have all collectively contributed more than $100,000 in scholarships over the span of two decades. Congratulations and good luck to all scholars!
PAL Celebrates Dedicated Volunteers with a Night of Fun
More than 100 PAL volunteers and officers came together on June 18th for an exciting evening of food, fun and thanks at Dave and Buster’s. Volunteers dedicate hundreds of hours each year to support PAL’s mission through positive youth development programming. Without their help, many crucial programs would not exist.
PAL named Howard Horenstein the 2014 Volunteer of the Year. Mr. Howie, as he is affectionately known by many, has volunteered at Cozen PAL for more than 10 years. He commutes from Ventnor, NJ multiple times per week to mentor kids, coach basketball and help families get the assistance they need in and outside of PAL. Mr. Howie graciously accepted the award and looks forward to many more years of service.
PAL also recognized several volunteers who continuously go above and beyond the call of duty, including Cheryl Walker of Fairhill PAL who has dedicated nine years of service to teaching young ladies how to express themselves through dance; Brahin Smith who grew up at 23rd PAL and has spent the past five years giving back to the youngsters the way others helped him; Margarita Santiago who has helped the children at Harrowgate PAL nearly every day since the center opened more than three years ago; Jim Mangan who has coached PAL’s youngest wrestlers for 12 years; and Ben Bailey who has helped with absolutely everything at Paley PAL for more than 22 years. All volunteers received PAL beach towels as a small token of PAL’s appreciation.
PAL thanks all volunteers and officers for their commitment to improving the lives of youth throughout the City.