PAL Recognizes Dedicated Volunteers during Fun Celebration
More than 80 PAL volunteers, support staff members, and officers came together on June 10th for an exciting evening of food, fun, and appreciation at South Philly’s new South Bowl. Volunteers and support staff dedicate hundreds of hours each year to enhance PAL’s mission through positive youth development programming. Without their help, many crucial programs would not exist.
PAL named Richard Washington the 2015 Volunteer of the Year. Richard has dedicated more than a decade to Logan PAL, supporting programs and personally mentoring many children to become productive young men and women. Additionally, PAL named Lily Reyes the 2015 Support Staff Member of the Year. Lily far exceeds expectations of her roles in Homework Club and Positive Images at Harrowgate PAL. She has contributed to the success of all programs at the center and is adored by everyone who attends. Both recipients graciously accepted the awards and look forward to many more years of service.
PAL also recognized several volunteers and support staff that continuously go above and beyond the call of duty, including Mariah Carroll of Wissinoming PAL who has made it her personal mission to educate the kids at her center about anti-bullying and diversity; Chantel Jones of Fairhill PAL who serves as Center Director P/O Marcus Allen’s “right hand” for all programs at the center; Siani Velazquez who coaches the cheerleading squad and helps children with their homework at Lighthouse PAL; Ms. Loretta Washington who has enriched the lives of participants at Logan PAL for more than 19 years; Donte Meares who has been a role model to Tacony PAL members for ten years; Emanuel Stanton from Paley PAL who always puts PAL first and helps with whatever the center needs; Gianna Bradley who has led many daily operations at Rizzo PAL for the past two years and even coached the center’s soccer team to a second place finish in the Citywide league; Migdalia Feltio who has been a part of every activity at Harrowgate PAL since the center opened four years ago; and Ryan Elliott who supports Tacony PAL and his Center Director P/O Bill Schneider during all of his free time. All volunteers enjoyed bowling, dinner, and free massages at the event.
PAL thanks all volunteers and officers for their commitment to improving the lives of youth throughout the City.
Wissinoming PAL Prepares Teens for Work
On June 4th, more than 50 teens from Wissinoming PAL joined representatives from family support organization, Turning Points for Children and local businesses for an educational evening. Attendees learned what steps to take to be successful in their quest for summer employment.
Guest speakers encouraged attendees to pay attention to their appearances as well as their manners anytime they’re interacting with potential employers or colleagues. They also stressed the importance of being prepared and on time. Turning Points for Children provided applications for work permits and tips for interviewing. The PAL teens were also able to have informational interviews with businesses such as Citizens Bank and ShopRite.
PAL thanks Turning Points for Children and all community representatives for providing such beneficial information to Wissinoming PAL members.
PAL’s Citywide Indoor Soccer Program, supported by General Mills, came to a close on May 28th, with Championship games held at the Arena at the Northeast Racquet Club & Fitness Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
For weeks, hundreds of girls and boys from across Philadelphia competed in PAL’s league, allowing them to take part in a wholesome after-school activity, which provided soccer instruction, lessons, and the opportunity to stay physically active while having fun. Thanks to General Mills, this program was provided to PAL children entirely free of charge.
After competing in weeks of grueling competition during the regular season, Cobbs Creek PAL, two teams from Rizzo PAL, and Gibbons PAL emerged as the league leaders. The 11-&-U Championship game boasted a skilled Cobbs Creek PAL team against perennial-soccer-powerhouse, Rizzo PAL. An exciting game, Rizzo ended up winning the 11-&-under league 4-2.
Gibbons PAL, considered to be soccer royalty in PAL, took on Rizzo’s second team in the 13-&-U Championship game. While it was a close matchup which had to be decided in overtime, Gibbons edged Rizzo to be crowned the 13-&-under league champions, to the tune of a 6-5 score.
Congratulations to all children for the dedication, persistence, grit, and teamwork they showed throughout the season. Special congratulations to our winners, Gibbons PAL and Rizzo PAL, and our runners-up, Cobbs Creek PAL and Rizzo PAL. PAL thanks General Mills for their continued support of active and healthy lifestyles for Philadelphia’s youth.
PAL Centers Wrap-up Boys and Girls Mentoring Programs
As the school year comes to a close, many Philadelphia PAL centers reward year-long participation in Boys to Men and Positive Images Girls Mentoring programs. Weekly sessions since October have served as a time for participants to learn about interesting topics, express their creativity, bond with their peers and mentors, and have fun.
This year’s Boys to Men Program highlights included a trip to Sky Zone indoor trampoline park for 25 dedicated young men from Harrowgate PAL. They learned about personal responsibility, nutrition, and minor construction skills with “Build and Grow” kits from Lowe’s Aramingo. Several PAL centers teamed up for a teens vs. adults basketball game on April 28th. Boys to Men Mentoring Program participants took on PAL staff, volunteers, and police officers from the local 19th and 22nd Police Districts. Former Philadelphia public league legend, La Salle Explorer, and 14-year NBA veteran Doug Overton shared an inspirational message during halftime of the game, stressing the importance of building positive relationships through sports. He encouraged the young men to practice discipline, persistency, and the ability to continue working on something, like shooting a basketball or practicing algebra, even when it is challenging.
Positive Images Girls Mentoring groups celebrated the culmination of another successful year in several fun and entertaining ways. Rizzo PAL hosted a dance recital while Paley PAL enjoyed a BBQ and water ice party. Various center from around the city celebrated in other ways, too! Positive Images sessions throughout the year focused on respectful relationships and making healthy choices with activities like yoga, preparing nutritious snacks, craft projects, and community service events.
PAL thanks Anne and Andrew Abel for their continued support of PAL mentoring programs and helping to shape futures of so many children and teens in Philadelphia.
The 2015 PAL Award Dinner took place on May 14, 2015. This year’s record-breaking Dinner raised over $1,000,000 for PAL’s mission of “Cops Helping Kids” and honored three outstanding individuals who also actively serve on the PAL Board of Directors: Wendy Hamilton from SugarHouse Casino, Michael A. Innocenzo from PECO, and Marc Rayfield from CBS Radio / Philadelphia. Each of the deserving honorees was recognized for their commitment and dedication to the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, and the young people PAL serves.
The Dinner program was an exciting one, which was emceed by Good Day Philadelphia’s Mike Jerrick. Jerrick’s playful attitude and spunky showmanship livened the room and caused a few laughs throughout the evening. Aside from Jerrick, numerous PAL kid MVPs and Police Officers were involved in making the evening a successful one. PAL MVPs Frankie, Sarah, and Chantel charmed the attendees with stories of their PAL experiences, and special guest and PAL alum, Duke University Blue Devils forward Amile Jefferson drove home how important PAL is in the City of Philadelphia. Each of the honorees also gave touching and heartfelt speeches explaining why they support PAL so passionately.
Presenting sponsor Verizon, for the eighth year in a row, went above and beyond to support PAL and helped make this amazing showcase of PAL’s impact on Philadelphia communities come to fruition. Guests enjoyed a vibrant silent auction to kick off the evening. With exclusive experiences, vacations, and personal interest items, there were more than 300 prizes for attendees to bid on and enjoy. The program – which included talented PAL children who both sang and spoke to the crowd – touched the hearts of each of the nearly 850 guests in attendance.
Special thanks to our guests and supporters, and especially to our Award Dinner Co-Chairs: Denise DiSimone of PNC Bank, N.A. and Vince Giannini of PHL17 and DCW50; Tribute Book Co-Chairs: Thomas Cestare of Beneficial Bank and Larry Gauger of Asplundh Tree Expert Company; and Auction Co-Chairs: Michael C. Carbone of TD Bank and Joseph Simone, Jr. of Regional Resources.
Thank you to all of this year’s sponsors:
Athole G. Jacobi, M.D., Patricia Kind and Family, Ronald Krancer, PECO
Andrew and Anne Abel, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, The Beneficial Foundation, CBS Philly/CBS Radio, Comcast SportsNet/Comcast NBC10/Telemundo62, Cozen O’Connor, Crown Holdings, Inc., Jeffrey and Lanie Hendrey, Harvey and Sylvia Nisenbaum, Parx Casino and Racing, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, PHL17, Riggs Distler & Co., Inc., SugarHouse Casino, UPS, Janine and Jeff Yass
Citizens Bank, Harmelin Media, Henkels & McCoy, Inc., Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson’s Methodist Hospital, Miller Brothers Electrical Contractors, PNC, PwC, Regional Resources, REIT Management and Research LLC, TD Bank, The Phillies
ABM Onsite Services, ACE Group, AlliedBarton Security Services, Almo Corporation, Binswanger, Campus Apartments, Cigna, Inc., Firstrust Bank, The Governors Woods Foundation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Philadelphia 76ers, Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. , Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., Skanska USA Building, WPVI-TV/6ABC
Out of Town
Bill and Sharon Avery, Ballard Spahr LLP, Blank Rome LLP, CIPPCO Inc., Comcast Spotlight, The Daniel P. Veloric Foundation, Drexel University Department of Public Safety, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, HBK Engineering, LLC, HOLISTIC HEALTH FOREVER WEALTH LLC, IBEW Local Union 98, Jeff and Suzanne Kahn, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, Lewis and Janet Klein, LaFata Contract Services, H. Chase Lenfest , John and Becky Lindeman, M&T Bank, NovaCare Rehabilitation, The Philadelphia Eagles, Rush Street Gaming, University of Pennsylvania Division of Public Safety, USIC, LLC, Utility Line Services Inc.
An Exciting End to Winter Activities
On March 19th, two hundred PAL children and teens enjoyed one last night of winter entertainment at the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 1923 Arena. New and experienced skaters took to the ice to have fun with their friends and PAL officers. They were provided with skates, three hours of ice time, and dinner served by Penn Department of Public Safety officers.
The historic rink quickly filled with laughter as the youngsters played games and skated around the ice. Penn and PAL officers were on hand to give instruction and help guide novice skaters across the arena. Along with Coca-Cola, long-time PAL Board member and Penn Vice President of Public Safety, Maureen Rush organized the opportunity for PAL youngsters to experience a university campus and the positive aspects it brings to the community.
PAL thanks University of Pennsylvania Department of Public Safety and Coca-Cola for providing an engaging and fun-filled event for PAL members and police officers.
View more photos from the event on PAL’s Flickr.
PAL Girls Shopped ‘til They Dropped at Cozen Prom Boutique
On March 10th, Cozen PAL was transformed into one of the largest dress shops in Philadelphia for the 7th annual Cozen Prom Boutique. Nearly 200 girls from PAL’s Positive Images Girls Mentoring Program were rewarded with this free shopping experience for their participation and commitment to PAL’s after-school programming.
For months, PAL supporters have been collecting formal attire, shoes and accessories for this extraordinary event. Efforts were led by event founders Nancy Rounbehler of Cozen O’Connor and Linda Wert from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The event is a great self-esteem builder for the young ladies and truly enhances PAL’s Positive Images program.
Volunteers from Independence Blue Cross’ Blue Crew, Archbishop John Carroll High School, Seer Interactive, Drexel University, and University of Pennsylvania Alpha Phi Omega helped the young ladies find beautiful dresses, accessories, nail polish and shoes for their special night. Each PAL participant received a new makeup and brush kit to complete their formal look.
PAL thanks Nancy, Linda and all volunteers and donors for another successful Cozen Prom Boutique!
See more photos from the event on PAL’s Flickr.