Police officers, Center City building owners fundraise for PAL summer programs

Paul Kurtz
April 26, 2019 - 5:30 pm
Cops Helping Kids Day

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Police officers staked out in nearly two dozen office buildings Friday, but it was all for a good cause. 

Lunchtime passersby were easy pickings for the two cops from the Police Athletic League (PAL), who were raising money for their annual Cops Helping Kids Day fundraiser.

With a goal of raising $35,000, PAL officers set up donation boxes in lobbies throughout Center City. 

"We're just accepting donations to help defray the costs of all the PAL Centers that we have," explained Officer Ernie Rehr, center director of the Rizzo PAL Center.

He said Cops Helping Kids offers incentives for bigger donations: "$20 or more you get a T-shirt; $15 for a hat."

Plus, something new this year: "We have limited edition PAL dress socks, with a PAL logo on them," Rehr said, "$20 for that as well."

PAL provides programming to at-risk youth with the goal of reducing crime, promoting character development and improving educational opportunities.

Jackie Little, a 30-year veteran, has devoted half her career to helping kids. 

"I love it when my children come back to me and tell me that I've made a difference," she said. "Last week, I met one of my PAL students from 10 years ago. He explained to me that he is now married, he has five children and he is the pastor of his church."

Pat Winner, chief development officer, said the money goes toward PAL's summer programs, which includes a variety of programs like tennis, golf, cheer camp, a STEM camp, and more.

Cops Helping Kids is a partnership between PAL and the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). BOMA chair Kelly Wallace calls it a perfect fit for her organization.

"We have some members that were PAL kids. Personally, my husband was a PAL kid, received a PAL scholarship when he went to college," said Wallace, "so you know what great things the organization is doing for community, for the children in the city."