The Harrowgate PAL Center’s gymnasium has a new and improved floor, thanks to the hard work of generous community partners and dedicated civic leaders. The newly-installed gym floor at the Harrowgate PAL Center is guaranteed to provide a solid foundation for local youngsters who participate in the Police Athletic League’s program housed there.
“Since 2011, Harrowgate PAL has made a significant impact on this community,” said Lt. Evelyn Cintron, PAL’s Commanding Officer. “The relationship Officer Frank Rivera has developed with the neighborhood is a prime example of proactive community policing,” Cintron added. “On a daily basis, this center is bustling with hundreds of children, and with that level of activity,” she explained, “it is no surprise that the daily basketball and other activities were taking their toll. Floor tiles in the gym were popping up; some even were missing. Simply put,” she continued, “the gymnasium floor was in need of a major upgrade.”
Which is exactly what the PAL facility, located in the city’s Department of Recreation’s Ramblers Recreation Center, 851 E. Tioga Street, received.
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez said, “The Harrowgate PAL is a beacon of hope in the neighborhood, and Officer Frank and his team of volunteers work hard every day to give our young people strong role models and a welcoming, supportive environment. With the new floor and center renovations, we are proud to also give them the beautiful, improved facility that they deserve.”
Officer Frank Rivera is excited to begin the new program year with a new-look gymnasium. “We could not have asked for better timing,” said Police Officer Frank Rivera, who is the Center Director. “We serve nearly 1,500 registered participants as part of the busy after-school sports, educational and cultural programming. This new floor is a great addition to our PAL center and our community.”
The new gym floor was spurred by $30,000 in capital funds earmarked by the Councilwoman. Following the commitment from Quiñones-Sanchez, PAL was able to leverage an additional donation of labor and materials to install the new floor.
“PAL is an extraordinary organization that does so much good for so many and the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) is proud to be a part of this project that will help hundreds of local young people. Union carpenters volunteered over seven hundred hours of labor on this project. We will continue our volunteer efforts throughout the region and will keep doing what we can to help when and where needed,” said Patrick McGinley, Council Representative for the NRCC.
PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli expressed gratitude toward the community partners who made this possible. “PAL is at its best when the community comes together to support the center. Following the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) renovations to the site a few years ago, utilization of the Harrowgate PAL Center has skyrocketed, setting the stage for a burgeoning partnership with Wawa, which regularly sends a team of volunteers to the center to work with the kids and donates tens of thousands of dollars annually to help support operations. Thanks to support from the Councilwoman, the Philadelphia Floor Layers Union, DoveLin Enterprises, City Floor Supply, and the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, the new gym floor will help us achieve our goals of reducing crime, building character, and improving educational outcomes among our youth,” Qualli noted.