Friday, May 3, 2013

Cops and Kids Working Together

The Police Athletic League (PAL) is a non-profit organization, staffed by KCPD officers, that offers athletic and academic programs to about 700 urban-core children. The center experienced its most generous year of donations ever, allowing it to upgrade facilities and provide more programs for inner-city youth.

We recently celebrated our Grand Re-Opening of the PAL Center located at 1801 White Avenue on May 1. At the ceremony we were able to showcase the new NFL Chief’s football field with a ribbon cutting, presentation of awards to major donors and honoring the PAL board members. Among those recognized were Curry Real Estate Services, Messengers Lawn and Landscapes, Paul Davis Restoration, United Heating & Cooling, Mark One Electric, The American Fence Association Midwest Chapter and PAL Board Members Nancy Simons, Jim Carr, Larry Washington, Mike Carter, Cindy Mason and Web Bixby.

The donations resulted in a new air conditioner and duct work, partial new roof, landscaping, lighting for new athletic fields, storage sheds and more. More than 50 local businesses supported PAL in 2012 through $750,000 in donations, about a third of those were in-kind. Many came through Christine Lentz of Curry Property Management.

All of the donations have led to a better PAL Center, which is more than 50 years old, and programs that attract more youth. Those youth, in turn, focus their time and energy on something positive to develop critical life and leadership skills instead of becoming involved in criminal activity. The positive relationships they develop can be attributed to both the generous donors and the dedication of the officers involved.

PAL hosted the Upper Room Summer Academic Program for the second year, which helped 180 children come to read at grade level. The program also provides them food, something many don’t get as much of during the summer when schools and their lunch programs are out of session. PAL introduced sewing and gardening programs in 2012 to appeal to more youth, which have drawn great interest. A 7th/8th grade football team also took the field for the first time.

This year will be the first time the PAL Center will be a host site for Harvesters, the Community Food Network, which will serve approximately 300 people. I want to thank all those involved in making the PAL Center what it is today. We hope to continue to explore innovative and exciting avenues to keep Cops and Kids Working Together.

Send comments to