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The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL), in partnership with The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia, celebrated the official opening of the Grays Ferry PAL Center on Friday, September 30.  Located within The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia Grays Ferry Outreach Center at 3225 Reed Street, it is the 18th PAL Center in the city. It also marks the Police Athletic League’s return to the community after a two-year absence.

PAL Commanding Officer Lt. Evelyn Cintron called PAL’s return to Grays Ferry “additional evidence of the ongoing transformation of the neighborhood. Beyond the services PAL brings to the children of Grays Ferry,” Lt. Cintron noted, “it spotlights the special relationships that can be forged between Philadelphia children and the Philadelphia Police.  PAL is the definition of proactive community policing, and we’re thrilled that Officer Frank Holmes has a new home to build relationships with the children and teens in Grays Ferry – a notoriously tough neighborhood.  We’re grateful for our partnership with Salvation Army, and for what we’ll be able to accomplish.”

“The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is pleased to welcome the PAL program to our Grays Ferry home,” said Major Philip Ferreira, Greater Philadelphia Director of Operations of The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia Outreach Center. “PAL’s programs are so very important.  They help to reduce crime in the city, promote positive character development, and improve educational outcomes for Philadelphia’s children,” he said. “We are proud to support The Police Athletic League’s mission.”
“PAL is at its best when a caring and committed police officer, like Police Officer Frank Holmes, can rely on the support of community partners, city leaders, mentors, and parents,” said PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli. “We are excited to return to Grays Ferry, and to better support the needs of the City’s youth through our relationship with The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia,” stated Qualli.  “Mayor Jim Kenney saw a need for youth development programming in this neighborhood, and we’re proud that we’ll be able to offer our free after-school and summer programming to this community,” he added. “Our centers provide a safe place and a positive environment for ‘kids to be kids, and our programming will help us move the needle on crime reduction, character development, and educational outcomes in this neighborhood.

Through PAL, Philadelphia police officers, supported by civilians and volunteers, offers sports, including basketball, soccer, and tennis; educational opportunities, such as chess, mentoring programs, homework and computer clubs; and field trips throughout the year – programs in which more than 18,000 Philadelphia children participated last year.

For more information, call Grays Ferry PAL Center, 215-291-9000, ext. 319 or PAL headquarters, 215-291-9000.

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