By: Mubarak Lawrence
Each of PAL’s 18 centers entered a team of at least six chess players in this years’ tournament. We had nine centers face off on Nov 17th and 18th for our North and South Regional Competitions. Harrowgate PAL hosted the North Regional, with Logan PAL out playing all centers for the North Regional Champion title. Southwest PAL conquered the South Region at Cozen to claim the South Regional Champions title. The final night of competition was held at University of Pennsylvania’s Irvine Auditorium on November 19th.
PAL congratulates the TOP Players in each age group: Xavier from Gibbons PAL (12-and-Under), Saron from Logan PAL (15-and-Under), and Terry from Gibbons PAL (18-and-Under). All participants were commended for their hard work and dedication, and received certificates and PAL Chess T-shirts for their participation and sportsmanship.
1st : Rizzo PAL
2nd Tacony PAL
3rd Logan PAL
Finals Runner Ups: Gibbons , Cozen, 23rd, SouthWest, Wynnefield
North Regionals Results:
1st Place: Logan PAL—Officer Michael Pittman
2nd Place: Gibbons PAL – Officer Anthony D’Aulerio
3rd Place: Rizzo PAL – Ernest Rehr
South Regionals Results:
1st Place: SouthWest PAL – Officer Cedric Jones
2nd Place: Cozen PAL – Officer(s) Kareem Johnson and Phyllis Young
3rd Place: Wynnfield – Officer Jackie Little
23rd PAL – Officer Darren James
PAL thanks the officers and their chess players for their positivity and participation in this competitive educational program.
To see more photos, click here.
On Veterans Day, PAL’s Citywide Flag Football season closed with championship games at Team Vick Field in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighborhood. The season, which kicked off with an out-of-school time citywide tournament on Columbus Day in October, included hundreds of kids and teens from each of PAL’s centers throughout the City.
The Veterans Day showdown boasted a third-place matchup between West Philly’s Cobbs Creek PAL and North Philadelphia’s Harrowgate PAL, and a championship game between North Philly’s Fairhill PAL and Wissinoming PAL from the Northeast.
Cobbs Creek PAL, led by Center Directors P/O Darryl Johnson and P/O Cassandra Parks-Devaughn edged out a win over Harrowgate PAL, led by P/O Frank Rivera and P/O Sharon Wells. In the championship game, P/O Marcus Allen’s Fairhill PAL team proved too much to handle for P/O Brian Younger’s Wissinoming PAL squad.
P/O Allen had an ally in leading his team to victory: Fairhill PAL is a host site for Up2Us Sports Coach Across America coach, Darrell Daniels, who serves as a role model, mentor, and community leader to the children at Fairhill PAL. P/O Allen and Coach Darrell make it a point to implement Up2Us Sports’ best coaching practices into all of their athletic programs at the center. Through sports-based youth development programs, like PAL’s Citywide Flag Football League, coaches instill self-awareness, positive identity, situational awareness, plan B thinking, future focus, discipline, social confidence, and prosocial connections in youth, attributes that Up2Us Sports research shows are key predictors of future success.
Congratulations to Fairhill, and to all participants, for staying safe, off the streets, and committed to a winning culture both on and off the field.
A Busy Year at Tacony PAL
Tacony PAL members have been having a blast all year with a variety of fun athletic, educational, and cultural activities.
Last fall, Tacony PAL kids participated in the annual wiffleball leagues, which was a huge success. More than 160 boys and girls from the area participated in the league, which provided a safe space, time spent with friends, and a means to stay active. Players were awarded with trophies and ribbons for their participation in the leagues.
During the winter, Tacony PAL members played in flag football and indoor soccer leagues. More than 220 boys and girls learned skills of the game, while practicing teamwork and strategy. Young ladies also learned different styles of dance and fitness routines through the Tacony PAL Dance Program.
Tacony joined other PAL centers at the Mayor’s Gridiron Classic on June 1, 2015. Philadelphia Eagles players led attendees through football drills and exercises. They encouraged the kids to stay involved with their community, lead healthy lifestyles, and continue their education. Read more about the Mayor’s Gridiron Classic here.
Eagles players and Tacony PAL members hung out again at the end of the summer. This time, Mark Sanchez, Cody Parkey, and Chris Maragos went fishing with the PAL youngsters. Organized by Todd Pride from the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program, the kids learned proper casting technique, how to bait a hook, and thread fishing line through their rods, all while getting to talk with Eagles players about their road to success.
Tacony PAL is looking forward to exciting fall and winter activities. Please visit the center to enroll in free programming for 6 to 18 year olds – 4401 Aldine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19136, or call P/O Bill Schneider at 215-335-4656.
PAL thanks Tacony Adopt-a-Center partner, Wawa, for making all of this possible, along with Todd Pride of the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Check out more photos from Tacony PAL here.
Excellent Start to a New School Year for PAL Kids
On September 16th, more than 50 Harrowgate PAL youngsters celebrated the start of a new school year. Children heard about the importance of staying dedicated to school and positive activities like PAL before receiving healthy snacks provided by Wawa and playing a game of kickball with volunteers.
The philanthropic volunteer group at Harrowgate PAL, Wawa and Friends, organized fun activities and collected funds to outfit each child with a new book bag filled with school supplies. Wawa and Friends donate 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, assembled by Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law students, 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 Wawa and Friends for their commitment to the success and livelihood of Harrowgate PAL members, and especially thanks Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law students and all partners who support educational initiatives.
On Monday, September 21, 2015, the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia welcomed a seasoned fundraising professional, Pat Winner, to the PAL team. Pat brings years of development experience to PAL, and she is excited to help us deliver on our mission of “Cops Helping Kids.”
1) What drew you to the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia? What did you know about PAL and what did you grow to learn about the organization during the interview process?
I knew PAL was a Philadelphia institution that has served tens, even hundreds, of thousands of young people in its nearly 70 year history. The long-term commitment of the Philadelphia Police Department in helping kids across the city is remarkable. What I have learned more recently is how very broad an all-encompassing PAL’s reach is, in both numbers and programming. I didn’t realize PAL had 18 centers across the city and 17,000 registered youth. I also came to learn that while sports play a central role in PAL’s programming, there are a lot of other programs as well. Homework Club, Chess Club and gender-specific programming, for example, also help young people achieve their best selves.
2) You have vast experiences in the development field. Can you share a little about your leadership experiences and what you bring to the PAL team?
My entire career has been in institutional advancement and I have been privileged to work alongside colleagues dedicated to serving and benefitting their communities. At both Villanova University and Main Line Health, I was proud to raise charitable funds that were leveraged to meet strategic objectives to meaningfully improve the lives of individuals. Is a true honor to work with individuals, foundations and businesses that have a commitment to investing in their communities and helping those in need and I look forward to doing so for PAL.
3) PAL is a key police community relations tool in Philadelphia, bridging the gap between inner-city communities and the Philadelphia Police Department. As a development professional, this is a unique opportunity to work closely with the Philadelphia Police to impact the lives of thousands of kids and teens. What does this mean to you?
I have great respect for the Philadelphia Department and in my short time with PAL could not think more highly of the PAL police team. What they are achieving in juvenile crime reduction, character development and educational success for thousands of young people in Philadelphia is awe-inspiring. This week, I got to see firsthand the interaction between the police and the youth in 11 different centers. It gave me an even greater appreciation for this organization and what it offers to children and the city.
4) What goals do you have in mind for your first couple months at PAL? What are your long term goals?
My goal is to build on the strong legacy of support to PAL and help grow funding to provide the financial resources necessary for PAL to serve more kids in more centers with enhanced programming.
5) After a busy work week, how do you unwind on the weekend? Books? Music? TV?
I am a voracious reader and have been since I was introduced to the Nancy Drew series in 4th grade. When I have free time, you’ll find me with a book in my hand. I also enjoy meeting authors. I love the author events at the Philadelphia Free Library and attend a number of them each year.
Summer Ends with Fun PAL Camps
Summer came to a close with fun camps and trips for more than 200 PAL members across Philadelphia. During the week of August 17th, more than 60 young ladies participated in PAL’s annual Girls Basketball Camp and 65 kids in the Northeast attended the Tacony PAL Camp.
Girls Basketball Camp at Harrowgate PAL brought together participants from nine PAL centers to practice drills and teamwork on and off the court. Players were coached by knowledgeable PAL Officers, Sergeants, and volunteers. The young ladies received trophies and plaques for their great effort and sportsmanship during a ceremony on Friday, August 21st.
Tacony PAL Camp involved more than 65 six to twelve year olds in fun physical and educational activities. They played flag football and wiffleball, and went on several day trips to Pennypack Environmental Cente, Smith Memorial Playground courtesy of Director Megan Weiss, and more. They heard from former Philadelphia Eagle Mike Reichenbach, who encouraged the kids to stay involved in positive programs like PAL, and Todd Pride from the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Program who taught them fishing techniques as they competed for new equipment prizes. Campers also 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, and snacks every afternoon thanks to Wawa.
Leading up to the unofficial end of summer, more than 100 youngsters enjoyed a day at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom with their friends and PAL Officers.Other exciting summer highlights include indoor basketball leagues at Logan and Cozen PAL centers during weekend hours.
PAL thanks everyone who helped keep PAL kids active and engaged in positive programming this summer.
Check out more photos of PAL summer programs here!
PAL Campers Invent a Bright Future for All
More than sixty youngsters attended Camp Invention during the week of August 17th to round out a summer of fun programming. First through sixth graders participated in interactive lessons to invent new machines, solve complex problems, and explore the lifecycle of everyday materials.
Campers learned about innovation by using recycled electronics and other materials in new and unique ways. They created mazes with parts from keyboards and hard drives, learned about electricity with snap-together circuits, and even built karts with cardboard boxes and skateboards. The youngsters practiced teamwork and collaboration by working together with kids from neighborhoods across Philadelphia, teachers, and camp counselors.
Camp Invention wrapped up with an Inventors’ Showcase on Friday afternoon. Family, friends, and PAL Board members saw everything campers created throughout the week, and watched them race their karts. Everyone received patent certificates for their inventions and awards for outstanding participation.
PAL thanks everyone who donated materials for their continued support of Camp Invention.