Capital and Programmatic Improvements Made Possible Thanks to the Generosity of Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation
WHO: PAL and BTS Participant, Aboubakare Diaby of the Southwest PAL Center; Capt. Krista Dahl-Campbell, PAL Commanding Officer; James Mangan, Executive Director, Beat the Streets Philly; Joe Sullivan, President, Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation Board of Directors; April Thomas-Jones, PAL Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA Leadership from the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation, Beat the Streets (BTS) Philly, and Police Athletic League (PAL) of Philadelphia gather today at the Southwest PAL Center to cut the ribbon on the new wrestling room made possible by a $55,000 donation to PAL and BTS to expand their partnership into a new section of Philadelphia.
BTS Philly is a preeminent wrestling based youth development nonprofit that is committed to fostering the holistic growth of student-athletes living in under-served communities. BTS has formally partnered with PAL for 12 years to bring sports-based youth development and mentoring to young people living in the cities high-crime and low-income neighborhoods. Today’s announcement celebrates a second location, growing the partnership from one location in Port Richmond to two, allowing each non-profit to double the impact.
PAL’s Commanding Officer, Captain Krista Dahl-Campbell says, “We are excited to continue building upon the relationship with Beat the Streets in a new location. Southwest Philadelphia has challenges but it is also dynamic and interested in solutions for their children. This partnership allows PAL to offer kids in the community an additional opportunity to learn and grow in a team environment.”
“As a former PAL kid and now Executive Director of Beat the Streets Philadelphia, I couldn’t be happier to be expanding our program to Southwest Philadelphia. I grew up wrestling in the program we operate at PAL Clearfield and the experience forever changed my life. Thank you to our funding partners from the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation for making this possible!” exclaims James Mangan, Executive Director, Beat the Streets Philly.
Aboubakare Diaby is a senior at Central Highschool and has been a part of both the Beat the Streets and PAL programs for over 5 years. He and his family live in Southwest Philadelphia, very close to the PAL Center on 5900 Elmwood. Aboubakare and his brother Mahamadou would spend 2 hours on public transportation each day to get to and from the Beat the Streets wrestling program located at the 24th District PAL Center. Aboubakare was so excited to hear about the opening of the Southwest PAL wrestling room that he even decided to help out as an assistant coach to the younger wrestlers.
“The opening of the Southwest PAL wrestling room is not only an opportunity for the sport of wrestling to grow in Philadelphia, but it is also an opportunity for me to give back to my community. My involvement with Beat the Streets Philadelphia is beginning to come full circle and I can’t wait to continue to give back and change the lives of others” said Aboubakare Diaby.
“One of the missions of the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation, along with supporting the families of fallen and injured first responders, is to help build healthy connections in the communities they serve where there is mutual respect and trust between police officers and the children in those communities. Supporting PAL and Beat the Streets Philadelphia was a perfect fit. Being able to provide a safe place for children to learn a new skill such as wrestling, while receiving academic support, and with the guidance of PAL officers, is what our foundation is all about” said Joe Sullivan, President, Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation Board of Directors.
PAL’s Executive Director, April Thomas-Jones claims, “the value in this partnership is that it brings two organizations together to do what they do best. Beat the Streets is clearly a best-in-class wrestling and mentoring program, and PAL is building positive police community relations. To have a funder that sees the importance of both is a win win win! Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation is able to bring communities together through impactful programming, Beat the Streets can serve more kids, and PAL can bring more opportunities to its youth.
The Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, Beat the Streets Philly, and Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation will have a check presentation and short remarks at the Southwest PAL Center to celebrate the ribbon cutting on its continued partnership and new space.
WHERE: Southwest PAL Center (5900 Elmwood Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143)
Parking lot on site
WHEN: Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 4:00 p.m.
Interview Opportunity at Southwest PAL Center 4pm-5pm
Who: Aboubakare Diaby is a senior at Central Highschool and has been a part of both the Beat the Streets and PAL programs for over 5 years. He now helps as an assistant coach the younger wrestlers.
Scene: Ribbon cutting in new wrestling room. Formal remarks at podium beginning at 4pm with opportunity to interview PAL and BTS Kid, Aboubakar immediately following.
PAL is “Cops Helping Kids.” We aspire to be the premier youth-serving organization in the city, by reducing crime, promoting character development, and improving educational outcomes. We accomplish this by having Philadelphia Police Officers, supported by civilians, offer educational, athletic, and recreational programs to youth in some of the city’s highest crime and lowest income neighborhoods. PAL Centers are safe havens, offering a variety of free programs and other events to attract engage Philadelphia’s youth.
AboutBeat the Streets Philadelphia:
Beat the Streets Philadelphia (BTSP) is a sports-based youth development nonprofit that is committed to fostering the holistic growth of student-athletes living in under-served communities. BTSP implements mentoring, academic support, and wrestling programs throughout the greater Philadelphia region as vehicles to ‘Positively Alter Life’s Trajectory.’
About the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation:
The Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation (FBBCF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to improving the lives of children in the Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey area. We achieve this by providing necessary financial relief for the families of fallen or critically injured first responders (police officers, firefighters, EMTs) and cultivating positive relationships and interactions between police officers and the children in the communities they serve. In 2019, the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation raised over $1.1 million dollars, primarily from its two signature events, The Ben to the Shore Bike Tour and the Gathering of Heroes. To date, the FBBCF has raised over $9.5 million dollars for the children in our community. Every year, over 80% of all proceeds go directly to those programs.