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"Kids Are Our Business"

Annual Report

Niagara Police 

Athletic League 

2019 Annual Report

Niagara Police Athletic League 


The year 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the Niagara Police Athletic League.  During that half century, it is estimated that more than 600,000 young people have benefited to varying degrees from being a “PAL Kid!”  And more than 12,000 volunteers of all ages have contributed more than 400,000 hours in support of their endeavors.   

Niagara PAL has been an innovator in youth programming, attempting to create and not duplicate what others are successfully doing for youth.  Over those five decades Niagara PAL has been a community leader in establishing new endeavors for youth. The following is a chronological history of some of those endeavors. 

Judge Niagara PAL’s continuing positive impact on youth for yourself. 

Niagara Police Athletic League 

A Half Century of Innovation and Service 

~1967 – Forerunner to Niagara PAL –Niagara Knights 105lb football team 

1970 Added a baseball and started actual PAL 

1974 Attended first National PAL tournament basketball in Indianapolis 

1976 Hosted National PAL basketball tournament (first of many) 

1981 Established scholarship program that developed into Students of Excellence* 

1981 Started Festival of Lights BasketballTournament (currently Cataract City Classic)* 

1981 Hosted National PAL basketball tournament  

1981 Hosted fighters from the Derry City, Ireland Rosemont Boxing Club 

1983 Established the Sports Award Dinner* 

1983 Charter member International Year of theYouth commissioned by the United Nations 

1984 Olympics trials marathon 

1984 Students of Excellence * 

1984 Hosted National PAL boxing tournament (Mike Tyson fought) 

1985 International Youth Conference - Japan - International Year of the Youth 

1986 Festival of Lights Tournament added girl’s teams 

1987 Christmas in July and December at Children’s Hospital 

1987 Magna Charta exhibition 

1987 Established SADD chapters in Niagara County schools 

1988 Niagara Falls Grand Prix 

1989 Elementary School Run* 

1989 Hosted National PAL baseball and  basketball tournaments 

1990 Instructional soccer program* 

1991 Niagara Nights midnight basketball program 

1991 Youth Forum 

1992 16 & under girl’s basketball National PAL champion 

1993 World University Games – hosted two venues, gymnastics and baseball 

1993 Katie Crocker (Curry) and Jeff Paterson first Presidential Awards in the United States 

1994 Christmas in July and December at School 84 

1994 Youth Forum Community Leader’s luncheon 

1995 Can/Am – Alan R. Elia Memorial Basketball Tournament 

1996 Hosted Inaugural National PAL Youth Festival 

1997 Hosted 2nd Annual National PAL Youth Festival 

1998 World Baseball Congress - Japan 

1998 Kidz & Kites* 

1998 Exchange Program with New York City PAL 

1999 Youth Court # 

1999 National PAL Youth Enrichment Act – co-authored and lobbied for passage 

2000 Do The Right Thing* 

2001 Every 15 Minutes 

2002 Easter Event 

2002 Partnership for Youth 

2005 Breakfast with Santa * 

2005 Spooktacular  

2005 Organized and implemented PAL Youth Leadership Conference in Washington DC 

2006 Mark “Chief” Williams Memorial Basketball Tournament 

2006 Twelve Days of Christmas * 

2006 Great Niagara Steakout * 

2007 Girls Lacrosse 

2007 Youth to Youth literacy 

2007 Affecting Youth TV show 

2010 Fine Arts Awards * 

2011 9//11 10th Anniversary ceremony 

2011 Alan Elia Memorial Scholarship * 

2012 PAL telethon 

2012 Instructional golf * 

2012 Holiday Card signing * 

2014 Instructional tennis * 

2016 Chess program * 

2017 PAL/Wolverine Chess Tournament * 

2017 Santa Dash 5K * 

2017 Easter Camp * 

2018 Power Baseball PAL Night * 

2018 Kids Running Club * 

2018 Halloween Event * 

2019 Kids Free Play Days * 

2019Developmental Track Meets * 


*Denotes new program 


# Reestablished by the Niagara Falls School District 

The Niagara Police Athletic League, like most youth serving agencies, is dependent on the support of the community in the form of contributions, sponsorships, etc., in an effort to maintain, let alone expand, youth programs.   


PAL has been successful in keeping costs low so that funds go to programs not overhead.  To be able to provide quality youth programs for an additional half century, PAL will need your support. 


Niagara PAL was once referred to as the 

renaissance agency of youth agencies, we concur!   

“Kids Are Our Business” 

2019 Niagara Police Athletic League Program Summary 


Baseball   Year two at the Niagara Power Game brought a large crowd and Liam and Fiona threw out the first pitch along with the Sheriff and Board President.  A schedule for the clinics could not be worked out – hopefully in 2020! 


Basketball   Specialty games and tournaments appear to be a thing of the past, but the instructional aspects are still strong. 

Girls Summer High School League. Due to construction at NFHS the league went to Lewiston Porter for the year. 


Elementary School League: Program continues to allow the future stars to develop their skills.  


JV Boys League: Again, an additional opportunity for younger players to get better at their craft. 


Brian Swayze Students of Excellence One of the better scholarship programs encompassing a wide range of schools and students. 


Chess Chess is being played almost everywhere with programs at all grade levels and in the community. Thanks to George! 


Page BreakConcession Trailer   Provides not only an opportunity to generate a small amount of income but is also training for future business leaders. 


PAL Summer Soccer Program: Affordable prices for the pizza, candy and pop after tennis and soccer. 


Kidz & Kites: Support for the program by preparing lunch and selling a few slices. 


Wildlife Festival: Serving breakfast and lunch to the volunteers and making a few dollars for the PAL coffers. 


Counseling As needed! 


Distracted Driving A never ending process. 


Do The Right Thing The number of kids that continue to do what is correct is amazing. 


Do The Right Thing Ceremony:  Four times a year at Niagara Falls and Starpoint.  Students who that gave the extra effort are recognized. 


Drug/Alcohol Awareness Again, the never-ending effort to educate. 


Easter Camp Kids from the Boy’s Club were in attendance as well as PAL kids, but all NF School District students at the Ralph Wilson Community Center for both weeks. 


Elementary School Run Numbers were down a little, but still an exceptional event for the young runners. 


Fine Arts Awards   It never ceases to amaze just how talented the high school artists and musicians are and their work is on display for all at the Castellani with an opportunity for a monetary award. 


Golf Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control there was not a youth golf program.  Hopefully it will be back in 2020. 


Great Niagara Steakout Another “Great” day on the golf course!  


Join us at: 

“The 15th Annual PAL Great Niagara Steakout”  

Monday July 6th, 2020 Niagara Frontier Country Club 



Halloween Event Year two brought some excellent costumes, a day of soccer, Halloween games and a successful basket auction at the Wilson Center. A fun day. 


Holiday Card Signing NFHS students take the time to sign a few holiday cards for the shut-ins and less fortunate. 


Internships Provide assistance in a variety of ways to students attempting to get real life experience in the workplace. 


Jingle Falls More events added and more people attending. 


             Santa Dash 5K A new course along the scenic upper Niagara River, a new division, the high school teams, and a nice December day to run.  The run just gets better.  The highlight was the family that traveled 1502 miles from Texas to compete. 


Kids Free Play Days*  In concert with the Wilson Foundation and assisted by the Niagara Power baseball team kids participated in three days of activities of their choosing, from kick ball  Frisbee, jump rope, and more, with no other expectation than having fun! 


Kids Running Club   Introducing the kids to the benefits of being a runner. 


Kidz & Kites A little community service, preparing lunch for the kite flyers and selling a slice of pizza or two. 


Ralph Wilson Niagara Community Center   the center provided an opportunity for many programs to take place, chess, Halloween Event, soccer, Easter Camp, among others. 


Scholarships Honoring the most deserving high school seniors in a multitude of areas. 


             Soccer: Scholarships to deserving PAL soccer players in the memory of John Travis and Richard Klusak. 


             Fine Arts Awards: All the art and music students are recognized for their outstanding achievements. 


Mark “Chief” Williams Memorial Scholarship:  Mark’s legacy continues through the  

efforts of Niagara Falls High School seniors. 


Comeback Athlete of the Year: A male and female high school athlete that suffered a 

serious injury and was able to return to sports, sponsored by University Sports Medicine and NF Memorial Hospital. 


Mr. & Mrs. Alan R. Elia Memorial Scholarship:  In honor of the Mr. & Mrs. Alan Elia 

Sr. to a male and female high school basketball player. 


Brian Swayze Students of Excellence – See Swayze, Brian Page 1 


Soccer The number participating, especially in the instructional programs, continues to grow. 


Summer: Tuesday and Thursday mornings at the NFHS Athletic Complex for those kids 

ages 4 to 12, learning the basics or developing their skills. 


House: Saturdays during the summer for those more advanced or those that can’t make 

during the week, but again, the emphasis is on development and fun. 


Fall: Saturdays in September and October with a more competitive level of play. 


Indoor: Two sessions during the winter at the Wilson Center with a few travel teams  

playing at other sites. 


Travel: For the players that want increased competition, they travel throughout Western  

New York competing with the best.  


Special NeedsPAL attempted to support their programs and became more involved with the Unified Sports. 


Sports Awards The best high school athletes that Western New York has to offer are recognized for their accomplishments in competitive sports. 


Tennis Increased numbers taking up the sport under the tutelage of Lauren, Yaz and Max. 


Theater* Niagara PALs inaugural effort into the thespian world with a presentation of the Princess and the Pea under the direction of Alex Gentile. 


Track & Field*  Two days of development track meets as a part of the Wilson Foundation concept of allowing all youth to participate regardless of ability and without the pressure of who wins and who loses. 


Twelve Days of Christmas About 90 families were able to have a holiday dinner through the efforts of NFHS, NFPD and PAL. 


Van A busy travel schedule again in 2019 with more than 80 field trips that covered in excess of 2,800 miles traveled. 


Volunteer Fair Supported NUREnew’s efforts to provide information to prospective volunteers. 


Wilson Foundation The mission of the foundation continued with a myriad of events and programs throughout the year, Free Play Day at New Era Field, Volunteer Coaches’ Recognition Awards, Project Play, Community Foundation Awards, the aforementioned Kids Play Days, development track meets and more.   


Youth Court  A little logistical support for the Niagara Falls High School very successful program. 


Youth Forum  The youth volunteers not only provide the necessary support for current programs and events, they hopefully will be the future as well. 



*Denotes new program.  



Respectfully submitted, 


Arthur E. Eberhart 

Executive Director 

2020 Board of Directors

George Ihle-President
Angela Munn Gadacz- 1st Vice President
Robert DiFrancesco-2nd Vice President
Joe Maggi-Treasurer
Jan Wellsby-Secretary
Phil Mohr Jr.-Program Director

Board Members:
Paul Casseri
Julie Conti
Cheree Copelin
Luke Copelin
Marc Daul
Jennifer Florio
Mike Gentile
Fred Kasper
Rich Meranto
Kristin Meyer
Willie Price
Kristin Schultz
Patrick Tighe
Curt Ventresca

Art Briglio
John DeMarco
Dominic Florio
Seth Piccirillo
Tony Surace

Executive Director:
Art Eberhart

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