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On Saturday, August 27th, from 10am-2pm at 6501 Fountain, Hollywood PAL will host its annual end-of-summer family picnic. But this year, there is an added celebration in honor of Hollywood PAL’s 20th year, and volunteers from Warner Bros. Entertainment are coming out to help host!  PAL Fest 2016 will feature music, carnival games, face painting, loteria, and lots of prizes and surprises. All of our PAL kids and their families are invited to attend this special birthday celebration.

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On July 30th, Andrew Franco earned his black belt at the Hollywood PAL school of Martial Arts. Families and friends came to watch the three hour long test that was a demonstration of Andrew’s commitment to the study Martial Arts. He had been putting in extra training hours and working hard on his personal essay, and the panel was very proud to award him the honor of a black belt. His sister Samantha Franco also tested and was promoted to red belt-black stripe and Miguel Sanchez to red belt. Congratulations to our 13th Hollywood PAL Black Belt!  Thank you for being an inspirational role model and teacher to fellow PALs.

 

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The Hollywood PAL Scholarship Program started 9 years ago and continues to be a great source of pride for the community. On August 9th, the Hollywood PAL Scholarship Committee and the Board of Directors hosted a special luncheon at the Lucky Strike in Hollywood to honor the recipients and their families. We are proud to honor the 2016-2017 Hollywood PAL Scholarship recipients.

Carlos Calderon, Cal State University Northridge

Jennifer Martinez, UC Santa Barbara

Daisy Mendez, San Diego State University

Elvia Cruz-Garcia, UC Santa Barbara

Xavier Canul, Santa Monica College

Susana Martinez Robles, LA Community College

Jason Siu, Loyola High School

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The 2016 Celebrity Bowling Tournament held on March 20, 2016 was an incredible afternoon filled with fun and excitement. Hosted at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood, over  200 guests attended. Celebrities that attended included: Andrew Divoff, Kristen Bauer, Koda Corvette, Kristen Doute, Kate Linder, Johnny Ortiz, Pauly Perette, Zach Sewlyn, Mathew St. Patrick, Brian Taylor, Paul Vercammen, and Zack Ward.

Bowling teams included: AmGraph Group, Andrews International, The Argyle, CH Palladium, Champion Real Estate Company, Employees of Film LA, Hollywood Museum, Live Nation, MBS Group, OHM Nightclub, Paramount Contractors & Developers, Paramount Pictures, Rotary Club of Hollywood, Sunset Gower and Sunset Bronson Studios, Thor Lee and UNIDOS from Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Guests enjoyed food from Ciabatta Bar, Blue Palms Brewhouse, and Lucky Strike, and drinks were provided by Mimosa Soleil and Djinn’s HellaBrew as well as delicious PAL-branded candy from Sweet!  When they weren’t bowling, guests enjoyed complimentary massages from Exhale Spa and won prizes from the raffle and silent auctions. Prizes included, tickets to Six Flags Magic Mountain, tickets to any show at the Hollywood Palladium, tickets to Chicago, Kinky Boots, or Rain, at the Hollywood Pantages Theater, a snowboard, signed memorabilia, dinner at Musso and Franks Grill, and more.

Overall, the tournament was a tremendous success and we hope that everyone had a wonderful time and keeps practicing for next year!

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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!

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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!

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With a six-month break between soccer seasons, the Hollywood PAL Officers decided to take the opportunity to bond with PAL kids through the experience of learning a new sport.  Since most of our kids only know soccer and martial arts, the Officers chose to teach the kids softball and kickball, Monday and Wednesday evenings at Helen Bernstein High School. The experience has been fun and  memory-making, with parents joining in as well. Special thanks to Cal PAL for donating softball equipment to make this possible, and bravo to the PAL kids for not being afraid to try something new… like throwing a ball!
What’s more, on Saturday, January 16th, coaches from USA Rugby came out to teach the PAL kids the sport of rugby. The kids and PAL Officers had an absolute blast!  The sport perfectly blends American football and soccer to create a dynamic game that had all ages wanting more. We hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership with USA Rugby.

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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!

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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!

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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.