PAL’s Citywide Baseball Program, Sponsored by Walmart, Provides Fun, Safe, and Free Summer Activity for Hundreds of Kids
Baseball is America’s pastime. Here at Philly PAL, it’s also one of our favorite summer activities. Thanks to a continued partnership with Walmart, PAL was able to provide exciting in-house leagues at the Gibbons and Harrowgate PAL centers, and citywide leagues for our 12-and-Under and 14-and-Under divisions. Serving nearly 1,000 kids and teens, baseball is a staple in PAL’s summer program offerings.
Kicking off in late June with our annual Homerun Derby, PAL’s Citywide League plays games throughout the summer at Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. The program provides an alternative to the streets, and keeps kids engaged in a healthy, team-oriented fitness activity that allows them to spend time bonding with friends and under the guidance of their mentors from the Philadelphia Police Department. This season, participants were excited to get a fresh, new look to their uniforms, and took pride in wearing their new baseball gear.
While all teams deserve credit for participation and for competing valiantly throughout the season, the championship games boasted particularly exciting matchups. The 14-&-Under Championship featured Cobbs Creek PAL and perennial PAL Baseball powerhouse, Ford PAL. Despite Ford PAL’s prestigious place in PAL baseball history, West Philly’s Cobbs Creek PAL edged them out for the win. The 12-&-Under Championship was a clash of two of PAL’s baseball titans: Harrowgate PAL and Cozen PAL. Both teams have been post-season nemeses for a number of years. In a tight finish, Cozen eked by Harrowgate to win 5-4. Congratulations to all children who took part in our summer baseball program and PAL Center Directors Police Officers Darryl Johnson and Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn (Cobbs Creek PAL), Police Officer Joe Ellerby (Ford PAL), Police Officers Frank Rivera and Sharon Wells (Harrowgate PAL), and Police Officers Kareem Johnson and Phyllis Young (Cozen PAL).
Special thanks to Walmart for their unwavering commitment to our mission of “Cops Helping Kids.”
The Phillies and PAL Knock it Out of the Park…for the 37th year
It was a particularly balmy August evening at the ballpark. Thousands of fans filled the stands, each excited to watch the Phillies take on the Dodgers, and to see a former fixture on the diamond – Jimmy Rollins – up to his old tricks with his new, blue team.
Two hundred of those fans: sparkly-eyed PAL kids with smiles from ear to ear, many of whom were about to witness their first professional baseball game in a MLB stadium. For our PAL MVPs – kids who go the extra mile and make it a priority to actively attend and participate in their center’s activities – this is an extra-special treat. Away from their neighborhoods, far from the dangerous streets they encounter each day, and nothing to worry about other than their proximity to, and ability to catch, the next home-run ball that tears through the night sky and crashes into the stands. This is a night when they’re the stars, when they’re the center of attention, and when, for a couple of hours, they get to just be kids.
PAL extends its thanks to The Phillies and Ron Krancer, and our co-sponsors, The H. Chase Lenfest Foundation, NECA Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter/IBEW Local Union 98, Sugarhouse Casino, and Tasty Baking Company, who helped raise over $35,000 for PAL’s youth development programming. Special thanks to all of our media partners, who made the night even more fun prior to the game with our annual Media All-Stars Softball Game. Congrats to Team Radio/Web for putting a licking on Team TV/Newspaper. Until next year…
PAL Kids Celebrated Christmas in July with The Philly POPS
Dozens of PAL kids celebrated Christmas in July with The Philly POPS on July 21st. Youngsters gathered at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia with their PAL Center Directors, representatives from The Philly POPS, and other members from the Philadelphia Police, fire fighters and military.
Guests were treated to a red carpet entrance and a Philly POPS Quintet performance before receiving brand new bicycles and helmets. One hundred bikes and helmets were waiting for the excited children under beautifully adorned trees. Attendees enjoyed snowflake sugar cookies and candy cane-shaped pretzels after they tested out their new rides.
PAL thanks The Philly POPS and Friends of the POPS for their generous donation to kids in Philadelphia.
View more information and photos from the Metro.
PAL and Walmart Team Up for Youth Baseball
On June 26th, more than 150 PAL baseball players spent the day at the fields at Belmont Plateau swinging for the fences. 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.
Participants from PAL centers across Philadelphia took turns at home plate to hit as many balls out of the park as possible. 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.
Walmart generously donates crucial funding to PAL’s Baseball Program year after year, which 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 support.
PAL Scholarship Recipients Honored at Annual Luncheon
On June 18th, PAL Scholarship recipients enjoyed lunch at the Union League of Philadelphia with their scholarship sponsors and fellow students. Hosted by Alicia Vitarelli from 6abc, the program honored nearly 200 deserving scholars pursuing higher education. In order to qualify for a PAL scholarship, applicants must demonstrate academic achievement and an exemplary record of community service.
Attendees enjoyed remarks from noteworthy guest speakers including Philadelphia City Representative and Mayor’s Director of Communication Desiree Peterkin-Bell, Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel and Rizzo PAL alumna and former scholarship recipient Samantha Kelly. Each speaker shared inspiring messages and encouraged guests to always push themselves through school, work, or extracurricular activities.
The Anne Krancer Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Allison Lackman from Tacony PAL to pursue a Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Widener University. Allison’s achievements through school and her personal endeavors as well as her desire to utilize her education to help others reflects Anne’s kind spirit, giving nature, and love for education. The Eliot C. Nisenbaum Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Brandon Alston from Cozen PAL to pursue a Master’s in Business Management at Wake Forest University. Brandon’s leadership throughout his undergraduate studies and professional endeavors showcases Eliot’s passion for hard work. One additional special scholarship was awarded to Julia Halbherr from Gibbons PAL. This scholarship, sponsored by Comcast SportsNet in memory of long-time PAL Board Member Sam Schroeder, also includes a 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, Ronald Krancer, 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!
Talented Performers Showcased at 6th Annual PAL Night of the Arts
More than 50 PAL members showed off their singing, dancing, and musical abilities at PAL Night of the Arts on June 16th. Excited families, friends and PAL supporters gathered at the Cozen PAL center in the Fairmount neighborhood for an evening of fun and entertainment.
The audience was captivated by singers, dancers, artists, and musicians who enjoyed their five minutes in the spotlight. The young performers practiced for several weeks leading up to the show. This event often serves as the culmination of many of PAL’s year-long dance and cheerleading programs.
Guests were treated to a special percussion performance by accomplished artists from ArtWell, a Philadelphia-based organization that engages young people in self-reflection and creative expression to discover and honor their strengths and those of others. With the help of PAL supporters, Anne and Andrew Abel, trained artists from ArtWell have worked with North Penn PAL youngsters for the past year, helping kids collaborate through percussion.
PAL congratulates all performers for having the courage to share their talents on stage.
Roaring into Summer with PECO PAL Day at the Zoo
More than 200 PAL members enjoyed a day at the Philadelphia Zoo on June 22nd compliments of PECO and PAL Board Member, Michael Innocenzo. This trip has been a great way to kick off summer programs for the past 14 years.
Attendees received color-changing PECO water bottles and festive “PAL Day at the Zoo” shirts. They enjoyed a healthy lunch with volunteers from PECO in the Peacock Pavilion, where many participants has their faces painted and challenged their friends to a jumbo Connect 4 game. A lucky few even won animal-themed prizes.
Everyone enjoyed all that the Philadelphia Zoo had to offer, including the playful polar bears, wandering peacocks, excited primates, and much more. They were astonished to see animals walk above their heads’ in the newest attraction, Zoo360 Animal Exploration Trails. Youngsters also took part in KidsZooU where they fed ducks, brushed sheep, and climbed through a specially-designed jungle gym like mountain goats.
PAL thanks PECO and Michael Innocenzo for another great PECO PAL Day at the Zoo.