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.
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!