More Than 200 Children Celebrated Presidents’ Day on the Hardwoods of Penn’s Cathedral of College Basketball During PAL Day at the Palestra
The Division of Public Safety & Penn Athletics hosted kids and teens from the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (Philly PAL) during the annual PAL Day at the Palestra – a one-day basketball event held at Penn’s historic Palestra. The event involved 200 children in a fun, safe, and free, fitness-based activity under the guidance of their coaches and mentors from the PAL Police Unit. Vice President for Public Safety Maureen S. Rush spoke words of support to the PAL kids, describing the Palestra as the “Cathedral of Basketball”. Angel Prinos,Deputy Director of Penn Athletics, and Ted Qualli, Executive Director of Philadelphia PAL, also shared words of wisdom with the attendees. The event featured a dance routine by cheerleaders from the Tucker Pal Center, located in University City and supported by Penn Police Officer Cassandra Parks-DeVaughn.
As an extension of PAL’s Fitz Dixon Basketball Program, PAL Day at the Palestra effectively helps PAL in broadening its reach beyond the program to serve a larger number of children, for more time, and have a larger impact on Philadelphia’s at-risk youth. Through the PAL Day at the Palestra event, PAL, Penn’s Division of Public Safety and Penn Athletics provided PAL’s inner-city youth constituency with a breathtaking day of basketball fun, fitness and enjoyable time spent with friends and peers. The exciting day kicked off PAL’s Citywide Basketball League with 6 basketball games from PAL’s 12-&-U and 14-&-U divisions. Additionally, there were multiple skills and drills stations for kids and teens to hone their skills.
PAL is “Cops Helping Kids.” PAL aspires to be the premier youth-serving organization in the city, by reducing crime, promoting character development, and improving educational outcomes. We accomplish this by having Philadelphia Police Officers, supported by civilians, offer educational, athletic, and recreational programs to youth in some of the city’s highest crime and lowest income neighborhoods. PAL Centers are safe havens, offering a variety of free programs and other events to attract engage and develop more than 18,000 of Philadelphia’s youth.