Youngsters help clean up five county neighborhoods
Members of the Henrico Police Athletic League (PAL) joined together to perform community service projects in Henrico communities late last month.
The PAL Summer Camp and Youth Leadership Council sent 250 youths between the ages of six to 18 years old out to clean up apartment complexes July 25.
Participants arrived at 9 a.m. with their black trash bags, disposable gloves and garbage grabbers in hand.
Youngsters were divided into groups in order to cover several apartment areas during the two-and-a-half hour period given for the project.
PAL members visited Essex Village Apartments on Pilots Lane, Bremner Woods on Sprenkle Lane, Seven Gables Apartments on North Laburnum Avenue, Coventry Gardens Apartments on Newbridge Circle and Hope Village on Hope Road to pick up and dispose of trash found on the grounds.
The kids braved the heat enthusiastically, knowing that their efforts would be appreciated by apartment residents as well as the community.
Henrico’s P.A.L program serves to create a safe environment for youths educational, athletic and social opportunities meant to strengthen the relationship between police officers and youths.
Sergeant Kenneth Ragland, executive director and community police officer, started the program in Henrico in 2007.
“PAL's been around for over 100 years nationally,” he said. “We cater to kids from ages six to 18 and utilize youth crime prevention.”
The After School program is open to all members. For $85, youths will participate in a variety of educational and recreational opportunities. The first hour of the After School program is set aside mainly for homework and tutoring. This year’s After School program begins Sept. 1 and runs through late May.
Another opportunity available for older youths between 13 and 18 is the PAL Youth Leadership Council. This branch of the program harnesses skills of the career driven participants.
Youths are given the chance to receive training from government and private industry leaders through several different projects and activities.
“Folks get exposure to community leaders, business leaders, civic leaders and also we incorporate a sense of community service,” Sergeant Ragland said. “We do a number of community projects monthly in our Youth Leadership Council.”
Participation in the Youth Leadership Council requires each individual to meet a certain standard in order to continue instruction. They need to work on monthly community service projects, attend meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., adhere to the YLC Code of Conduct Agreement and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.
A parent or guardian must state that the individual is physically fit to participate and give consent. A physical medical examination is highly recommended.
PAL also offers several sporting opportunities as a youth crime prevention program.
Members joining the Fourth Annual Henrico PAL Summer camp will partake in a soccer clinic, baseball and softball clinic, basketball clinic, karate lessons, roller-skating, bowling, museum tours, library visits and more.
Thursdays are dedicated to extra summer fun. Trips to places such as King’s Dominion, Swaders Sports Park, Hadad’s Lake, Cobblestones, Pocahontas State Park and Water Country USA are organized every week.
Another treat coming up for kids this summer is the fifth Annual Johnny Newman/ Henrico PAL Basketball Camp. Former NBA star Johnny Newman will teach boys and girls ages 6 to fifteen years old the basics of basketball while emphasizing individual and team play. Former WNBA Jessie Hicks and former professional player Jo Jo Chambers will also join Newman this summer. The camp runs Aug. 15-18, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily The participation fee is $80.
PAL participants also are taking part this week in a weeklong camp hosted by the Richmond Strikers youth soccer organization.
PAL is holding its first annual golf tournament at the Brandermill Country Club on Thursday Sept. 29. The price per team is $400, and registration begins at 11 a.m.
Every program that is a part of the Police Athletic League highlights the importance of staying in school, striving for college, saying no to drugs and being a positive member of the community.
“Not only young folks, but older folks alike think it’s important that we instill in our young folks in particular the importance of volunteerism, giving back to the community and having their best interest,” Ragland said. “Hopefully through exposing them through community service and things of that nature, they’ll develop a sense of ownership in their communities.”
The non-profit program is always looking for members in the community to donate or sponsor to make a difference in every child’s life. Volunteers for mentoring, tutoring and coaching are always welcome and anyone interested can register online through PAL’s website, http://www.henricopal.org.
“Most of our kids come through registration on henricopal.org and also referrals from our board members, our police officers, through individual school teachers in the community,” Ragland said. “PAL’s funding comes from donations, sponsorships, grants and registration fees.”
With a nod to Arbor Day, Citizen seeks photos, descriptions of significant Henrico trees
Citizen Staff Reports 04/28/2015
Do you have a favorite tree in Henrico?
Do you know of a tree with an interesting story?
Do you live near an especially large, old, or otherwise unusual tree – or do you pass by one that has always intrigued you?
Arbor Day 2015 (April 24) was last week, and though the Citizen has published stories about a few special trees over the years (see sidebar) we know that our readers can lead us to more. > Read more.
Henrico's most famous tree, known as the Surrender Tree, still stood for more than a century near the intersection of Osborne Turnpike and New Market Road -- until June 2012.
It was in the shade of that tree on April 3, 1865, that Richmond mayor Joseph Mayo met Major Atherton Stevens and troops from the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry and handed over a note surrendering the city to Federal troops. Evacuation had already begun. > Read more.
The Greater Richmond ARC's annual Ladybug Wine Tasting and Silent Auction on April 11 netted $75,165 to benefit its Infant and Child Development Services (ICDS) program.
About 350 guests sampled fine West Coast wines and craft beer from Midnight Brewery at Richmond Raceway Complex's Torque Club, along with food from local eateries. Carytown Cupcakes provided dessert. > Read more.
In the mood for some spring shopping? Eastern Henrico FISH will hold their semi-annual yard sale this weekend – funds raised assist at-risk families in Eastern Henrico County. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will hold a spring plant sale which is among the largest in the region with more than 40 vendors selling plants ranging from well-known favorites to rare exotics. Put on your detective hat and find out “whodunnit” at the movie “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and “The Case of the Dead Flamingo Dancer,” presented by the Henrico Theatre Company May 1-17. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
It’s that time of year – charity races are popping up everywhere! On Saturday, St. Joseph’s Villa will be the site of the sixth annual CASA Superhero Run and the fifth annual Richmond Free to Breathe Run/Walk will be held in Innsbrook. Also in Innsbrook, the 2015 Richmond Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis will take place on Sunday. If you’re more into relaxation than exercise, check out Wine for Cure’s Dogwood Wine Festival or the Troubadours Community Theatre Group’s production of “West Side Story” at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
There are several fun events this weekend taking place outside including the third annual Virginia Firefighter Games at Short Pump Town Center; Twin Hickory Park’s “April Showers: A Celebration of Spring” event; the Young Life Richmond West 5k in Innsbrook; and the Gold Festival on Broad which benefits Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. Fingers crossed for no rain! For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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