This morning the PAL family opened a fire hydrant and, as we have done for many years, we launched the opening of our summer programs, including PAL summer day-camps and PAL PLAYSTREETS.
Today’s celebration served as a showcase for all the amazing activities PAL offers to New York City kids during the summer – from basketball clinics to field trips to new neighborhoods and new adventures. With the support of our government partners, private funders and individual donors we are proud to provide a safe place for thousands of kids during the summer.
This opening day was especially important because, in addition to the hundreds of kids with whom we celebrated, we had the opportunity to say thank you to the hundreds of police officers who volunteer with PAL each year. In addition to the many police officers at the opening, we were honored to have NYPD Police Commissioner and PAL Honorary President James P. O’Neill, Former Manhattan DA and PAL Chairman Robert M. Morgenthau, as well as former NYPD Police Commissioner and PAL Vice Chairman Robert J. McGuire among many other distinguished members of New York City’s public service and business communities.
Police officers were recognized for their contributions to our kids. We have officers who coach and play with our youth, help with the kids’ homework and read with our young people. In these trying times, no matter the activity, it makes a difference in the lives of the kids and of the officers.
Also, we are grateful to volunteers from Foot Locker, Hall Capital Partners and Nike among others who helped us with recreational activities at the opening. A special thanks to CitySightseeing for a magical round-trip for some of our kids from NYCHA’s Polo Grounds on their double-decker bus today. We also thank The Coca-Cola Company for donated bottle water, which was much needed for our thirsty PAL kids and staff. I would also like to thank many corporate teams and community volunteers who will be assisting us at various events throughout the summer. I give a special shout out to the City’s prosecutors’ office, including the Manhattan DA; the Queens DA; the Staten Island DA; the Brooklyn DA; and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, all who have provided resources and volunteers to create wonderful summer experiences for our kids.
Opening Day is just one of many major events we organize for our kids at 22 summer camps and 16 PAL PLAYSTREETS. We will also be having Cultural Day, Carnival Day, Pennant Quest and Sports Day. We will be facilitating basketball clinics, games and tournaments in 16 City parks and playgrounds.
Frederick J. Watts