The Hollywood PAL Martial Arts kids have been very busy this year! There was the Bryan Hawkins Open Karate Tournament on February 6th, the Compete Karate Tournament on February 28th, the Pacheco Karate Championships on March 13, and coming this weekend the Bob & Barbara White Invitational. In addition to these tournaments, students came out on March 14 to support their instructor Ron Sanchez when he promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt, further inspiring our students to be life-long learners. Our students have been working hard, having fun, and coming home with lots of trophies. Keep it up, PAL!
On Saturday, January 16th, Hollywood PAL’s U15 Soccer Team coached by Coach Jacinto Cruz played in the Championship Game for the United Nations Soccer League. It was a tense and well-matched game that ended with our kids taking home the 2nd place trophy. Afterwards parents and coaches hosted a pizza party to celebrate the team’s hard work and model sportsmanship. And since this is our only U15 team, their new season with the United Nations Soccer League starts next week!
On Sunday, December 6th, Paramount Studios treated the kids of Hollywood PAL to a truly memorable experience. Over 300 kids and parents attended the event, having lunch underneath the Christmas Tree, taking photos with Santa, decorating ornaments and cards with PAL volunteers, a toy-raffle give away and Paramount party-favors, as well as an exclusive movie-viewing experience and special holiday light show. Thank you to Frankie’s on Melrose for donating food, as well as the hundreds of families who brought something to share. Thank you to our toy donors: Lucky Strike, Chinese Theater, Madame Tussaud’s, Warren Weitzman, the residents of 6464 Sunset and 6565 Sunset, Nickelodeon, and Studio Cycle Company. And a huge thank you to Paramount Studios for this incredible gift to our kids and families. Happy holidays to all!
On October 16th, twelve volunteers from the Banc of California donated their time and expertise to helping the kids of PAL to understand the basics of personal finances. Los Angeles City College generously hosted the event which allowed for the kids to be divided by age into several classrooms. Six to nine year old’s talked about needs versus wants, ten to thirteen year old’s talked about saving, and the high school kids learned about budgeting, retirement, credit cards and financial aid. What we didn’t expect was how much the parents appreciated the opportunity to ask questions. It was an incredible experience for our families and for the volunteers. We look forward to doing this event again to hopefully reach every PAL family and give them the support and information that they need. Thank you for being our partner, Banc of California!
Rock Evolution, The 12th Annual LAPD Hollywood PAL Awards, was an incredible night for our community. Hosted at the legendary Avalon, over four hundred guests attended the festivities including Deputy Chief Beatrice Girmala, Battalion Chief Timothy Kelly, LACC President Renee Martinez, Dan Halden from CD13, former Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Leron Gubler from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and many more esteemed guests. Everyone beamed with pride over the accomplishments of Hollywood PAL and its young leaders.
During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed an acoustic rock performance by JetLemons, perused the incredible silent auction, and posed for photos in the rockin’ FotoSpark photo booth. Once the doors opened to the main ballroom, students from the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) kicked off the program with a lively rock n’ roll medley.
PAL Board President Jason Hariton welcomed guests and introduced Commanding Officer Captain Peter Zarcone who spoke about the true value and impact of the PAL program. PAL Officers recognized 3 outstanding PAL kids for being exceptional role models and therefore deserving of the Pal Kid of the Year Award.
These young leaders then presented Gerald Travens, Gary Taglan and Danny Pesqueira with Hollywood PAL Community Leadership Awards for their contributions to society. The PAL Board also presented Officer Nikki Abskaron with special recognition for her 5 years of service to Hollywood PAL. Her heartfelt speech inspired a standing ovation as she thanked the families of Hollywood for trusting her to care and mentor their children. “I will never take a single day that I worked with these kids for granted. My time with them, watching them grow, mature and succeed will live within my heart forever.” (Officer Abskharon)
With spirits high, music by Good Cop Bad Cop kept the party going all night, and auctioneer Tony Magnemi led a highly entertaining Live Auction segment, which ended with our very own Captain Peter Zarcone auctioning off a homemade peach pie that he had made that morning!
Overall, the evening was a tremendous success and we hope that everyone had a wonderful time. Thanks to this fundraiser we are currently on track to be able to enroll 550 kids in Hollywood PAL in 2016. However, our goal is to provide programs for 600 children. If you have not yet had a chance to donate, please consider doing so now. The cost per child for the Hollywood PAL program is $500 for the entire year, and being enrolled in this program protects them from a life of gangs and violence.
The Hollywood Police Activities League will present the 12th Annual Hollywood PAL Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 30th from 6-9pm at the Avalon in Hollywood. This highly anticipated Gala will be themed ROCK EVOLUTION and feature live music and performances, all the while celebrating the PAL mission to build trust between cops and at-risk youth. All proceeds raised from this event will be used to provide enrichment activities and fund PAL’s ongoing crime prevention programs for children ages 6-17 in Hollywood. The evening program will include an awards presentation honoring the recipient of the 2015 Community Leadership Award, as well as PAL Kid-of-the-Year. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on Silent and Live Auction items throughout the evening, purchase VIP back stage passes to meet the bands, and enjoy high level entertainment in a historic music venue. The fundraising success of this event directly impacts the number of kids we will be able to serve in 2016.
Hollywood PAL is proud to announce its new partnership with UNIDOS the employee association within Warner Brothers Entertainment that dedicates itself to volunteer service and community involvement. On Saturday, August 8th, 14 volunteers came out to make posters and banners for the PAL Office expressing their appreciation for police officers. The 2 hour event was a big hit and many kids left asking when the next art party would be. This was hopefully the first of many collaborations with UNIDOS. Thank you for donating your time and creativity.
On August 1st, a trophy ceremony was held to award all PAL Soccer players with a participation certificates for the Spring/Summer Season, as well as honor the four winning teams: Pantages FC U8, Hollywood Museum FC U10, Blue Palms FC U12, and Canada CA Business Council U14. The trophies that these teams were awarded will be engraved each season with the winning teams from that division. A new Hollywood PAL tradition for our PAL league. Thank you to all who helped Hollywood PAL expand its soccer program this year. We will continue with 19 teams through the Fall/Winter Season, and are excited to be playing at both Helen Bernstein High School and Hollywood High School. The Fall season will begin September 14th.
The Hollywood PAL Scholarship Program started 8 years ago and continues to be a great source of pride for the entire community. On July 30th, the Hollywood PAL Scholarship Committee and Board of Directors hosted a special lunch for this year’s recipients at the Fire House Museum. Fabioulus Cafe catered the event and on behalf of Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, Dan Halden from CD13 presented each scholar with a certificate of recognition for the personal success and commitment to the Hollywood Community.
Carlos Calderon, Cal State Northridge
Andrew Franco, Cal State Northridge
Magno Enriquez, Vassar
Antonio Diaz, Pasadena City College
Tiffany Ortiz, Santa Monica City College
Alejandra Rivas, UC Berkeley
Cynthia Ayala, Cal State Fullerton
Mauricio Diaz, Cal State Northridge
Abel Luis Reyes, Cal State LA
David Aldana, Cal State Northridge