The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia is proud to welcome The Philadelphia Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) to Grays Ferry! PAL recently opened its 18th community center in the city. This one is being operated out of The Salvation Army’s Central Corps Community Center at 3225 Reed Street in Grays Ferry. It also marks the Police Athletic League’s return to the community after a two-year absence.
“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,” said PAL Executive Director Ted 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.
“The center provides a safe place and a positive environment for children, and PAL’s programming will help us move the needle on crime reduction, character development, and educational outcomes in this neighborhood,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at the ribbon cutting ceremony on September 30.
Through PAL, Philadelphia police officers, supported by civilians and volunteers, offer 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. The partnership of The Salvation Army and PAL was created to offer free after-school and summer programming to the Grays Ferry community.
“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,” said Major Philip Ferreira, Director of Operations, The Salvation Army Greater Philadelphia. “We are proud to support The Police Athletic League’s mission.”
PAL Commanding Officer Lt. Evelyn Cintron called PAL’s return to Grays Ferry “additional evidence of the ongoing transformation of the neighborhood.” She added, “Beyond the services PAL brings to the children of Grays Ferry, 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.”
Special thank you to Mayor Jim Kenney, Commissioner Richard Ross, Lt. Colonel Stephen Banfield (The Salvation Army Eastern PA & DE), Major Philip Ferreira, PAL Executive Director Ted Qualli, Rev. Bonnie Camarda, Envoy Anita Hinson, Lt. Evelyn Cintron (PAL) and Officer Frank Holmes for making this dream come true!