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
Every year, Hollywood PAL packs the Summer calendar with field trips. This gives kids a chance to spend some quality time with their PAL Officers, with a memorable experiences that they would not have access to otherwise. There are over 500 kids in PAL and already 140 have gone on a field trip this summer! This is possible thanks to our incredible community partners who donate tickets, food, and unique experiences. Special thanks to TCL Chinese Theatre, LA Galaxy Rising Stars Foundation, LA Dodgers Foundation, Quest Nutrition, the Let’s Play Hollywood Foundation, Cartoon Network, and El Capitan Theatre.
Hollywood PAL provides comprehensive youth development to kids through athletic and recreational activities lead by LAPD Officers and volunteers. The 15-year old soccer program in particular is very effective in teaching personal skills that positively impact and inspire kids in our community. Last Spring, we grew the soccer program from 8 teams to 19 teams and we need your help in continuing to have this many teams for the Fall/Winter season. For $1000, your company can sponsor a Hollywood PAL Soccer Team for one year. Email email@example.com for more information, and take a look at how good the pal kids look wearing local logos!
On June 10th, the families of Hollywood PAL came together to bid farewell to Officer Nikki Abskharon and Officer Debbie Slavin, who have been reassigned to working patrol in Hollywood. A big celebration was held in their honor at the Firehouse Museum & Memorial. Officer Abskharon is Hollywood PAL’s longest serving PAL officer, having dedicated 5 years to community relations and crime prevention through youth programs. Thanks to her hard work and commitment, Hollywood PAL has achieved great growth and success. There were many tears and heartfelt stories shared that evening for both officers. While it is hard to say goodbye, the impact that they have left on the lives of so many kids is forever. We now welcome Officer Ericka Martinez and Officer Taybren Lee to the PAL program, and we are excited to work with them.
Representatives of Hollywood PAL had the pleasure of meeting with Congressman Adam Schiff to discuss the PAL program and how it is positively impacting Hollywood. Congressman Schiff says that, “Building safe and secure communities is one of our most important national goals. To succeed, we must create drug- and crime-free schools, support a professional, visible police force rooted in our communities, and invest critical resources in the prevention and intervention of criminal activity by at-risk youth.” Building trust between the police force and families and investing resources in at-risk youth to steer them away from gangs and drugs is exactly what PAL does. We were proud to receive the Congressman’s accolades and appreciate his goals and strategies for our community.