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Annual Report

2018 Annual Report with Graphics


Niagara Police Athletic league

2018 Annual Report


We are constantly evolving to meet the needs of our kids and our community.

In the past decade, numerous programs have disappeared from the PAL list of activities:  football, bike safety rodeos, Affecting Youth (hopefully just on hiatus), Every 15 Minutes, and Youth Court, among others.  Conversely, many have been added to the list:  chess, art awards, tennis, Santa Dash, and lacrosse, again, among others.  And those that continue to be staples on the list, soccer, basketball, Do The Right Thing, Kidz & Kites, Sports Awards, Students of Excellence, and yet again, among others.

Despite an ever-changing youth programming landscape there is one constant:  Niagara PAL’s commitment to kids!  A willingness to evolve with the time and recognize when it is necessary to move on and to embrace new endeavors. 

Some of that was apparent in 2018 with rugby and Every 15 Minutes gone and lacrosse downsized.

On the other side,  chess, the Easter Camp and Santa Dash came into being.  It appears that 2019 will probably be more of the same.  Some ups, some downs, but at the end of it all, Niagara PAL will do what it has done for almost 50 years - be there for the kids!

To quote Eddie Murphy, “The welfare of our children is our main concern and their best interests are our first priority.”  That being said, with Niagara PAL, the kids have always been first.  In fact, our basic premise is, put the kids first and everything else will take care of itself! We like to think that PAL provides a myriad of role models from every facet of the community.  Individuals whose sole purpose is to do something positive for youth.  Police Officers, teachers, lawyers, nurses, production workers, business people, management personnel, etc.  But most important other kids.   It is the support that they – the children – need!  People that share their expertise and time for the betterment of the youth and the community.

Niagara PAL is a volunteer driven organization and dependent on community support for its existence.  Please consider volunteering or supporting Niagara PAL and “Our Kids.”



2018 Niagara Police Athletic League Program Summary


Baseball * Niagara University School of Sports Management took over operation of the Power baseball team and PAL hosted a night at Sal Maglie Stadium.  The PAL President threw out the first pitch along with the Sheriff.  Good crowd, fun night.  Expect more in 2019, including youth clinics.




Girls Summer High School League: Another successful year giving the girls a chance to get better.  This year the games were at Niagara Falls High School.


Alan R. Elia Memorial Tournament: An intense level of play creating outstanding competition.


ACE All Star Games: One last chance for the best high school players to show off their skills on the hardwood.


Elementary School League: Continues to get better each year with added involvement from the schools.


JV Boys League: Another successful summer of basketball in the county.


Brian Swayze Students of Excellence More than 30 years of honoring high school seniors for their service, leadership and scholarship.



Chess With the added emphasis on chess in the schools, the kids are getting better with the Niagara Falls High School team finishing second in the league.


            Wolverine Chess Tournament The 2nd Annual tourney was held at NFHS.  Excellent.


Concession Trailer   The kids get a chance to show off their selling skills.


PAL Summer Soccer Program: Pizza and pop after soccer and tennis at low prices.


Kidz & Kites: Lunch for the kite flyers and a sale or two to the adults.


Wildlife Festival: Two days of breakfast and lunch at the Power Authority for a decent profit.


Counseling If and when needed.


Distracted Driving An ongoing effort to make the point.


Do The Right Thing Another year of recognizing the kids for the good things they do.


Do The Right Thing Ceremony:  The best of the best are honored for going above and beyond on behalf of someone else.


Drug/Alcohol Awareness Like distracted driving, it is an ongoing effort.



Easter Camp Year two added a week at the Wilson Community Center, in conjunction with the NF School District and a few new activities, anime and crocheting, more than one hundred 3rd to 6th graders registered.


Elementary School Run In year 30, the run was renamed in honor of its founder Joe Jacobs.  Great competition.


Fine Arts Awards   The talent displayed by high school students is amazing and ’18 was not any different.  Kudos to them all and to a great exhibit of their work at the Castellani Art Museum.


Golf An even larger number took advantage of the Hyde Park course to get their game in better shape.


Great Niagara Steakout Another outstanding day of golf, good food and friends.




Join us at:

“The 14th Annual PAL Great Niagara Steakout”

Monday July 8, 2019 Niagara Frontier Country Club



Halloween Event * A variety of events and activities throughout the day, beginning with exhibition soccer games, continuing with soccer skills,  Halloween games, board games, a costume contest, a large basket auction and the start of the PAL house soccer league to end the day.  An enjoyable day for all that participated.


Holiday Card Signing Students at NFHS make the time and effort to sign some cards to make the day a little better for others.


Internships Support for those students that are attempting to get some hands-on experience.


Jingle Falls The second year brought added events and people to downtown Niagara Falls.


             Santa Dash 5K Again at the Sheraton – excellent hosts – with more than 150 runners registered, including a large contingent of kids.  Some pre-race glitches and a cold day, but at the end of it, a really good day!  Added a First Responders Division to the Doughnut Cup Challenge.


Kids Running Club * Implemented so the young runners, grades 2 to 6, would have a place to just run for the sake of running without the pressure of competition (but the majority did run in the Santa Dash). Hopefully building a generation of physical fitness! 


Kidz & Kites A free lunch and a chance to “go fly a kite.”


Lacrosse   Due to uncontrollable circumstances the program numbers were down, but still an opportunity, especially for the girls, to play during the summer.


Niagara Community Center Renamed the Ralph C. Wilson Niagara Community Center it was still the place to be for youth programs.



             Soccer: The John Travis and Richard Klusak Memorial Scholarships given to a soccer player that exemplifies the mission of PAL and is involved in additional PAL activities and community service.


             Fine Art Awards: Seven categories:  2D, 3D and Digital Art, Photography, Instrumental and Vocal Music and Theater.


Mark “Chief” Williams Memorial Scholarship In memory of “Chief,” at least eight high school seniors are awarded each year.


Comeback Athlete of the Year University Sports Medicine and NF Memorial Medical Center provide funding for an athlete, male and female, that returned to the playing field after suffering a sever injury.


Mr. & Mrs. Alan R. Elia Memorial Scholarship Given to a male and female basketball player that best displays the Elia commitment to the sport and fair play.


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




Summer The day time program where it all began, still going strong, two mornings a week at the NFHS Athletic Complex.  A coordinated effort of youth and adult volunteers.


House League The added day (Saturday) for those that want a little more soccer or can’t make it during the week.


Fall A slightly higher level of competition from the summer program.


Indoor The majority of the play is at the Wilson Center with some teams playing at other venues.


Travel The highest level of play with boys and girls teams competing, starting in May thru the summer.


Special Needs PAL provides whatever assistance they can when requested.


            Wolverine Camp The camp kids made their way to golf and tennis during the summer.



Sports Awards Prep athlete, college athlete, state champion, athletic advocate, if they have accomplished something outstanding in youth sports over the past three plus decades, PAL has recognized their achievements. 


Tennis Only one time slot seemed to work better and another exemplary year with Lauren and Yaz as the instructors.


Track & Field Continuing effort to provide an opportunity to compete to anyone interested. 


Twelve Days of Christmas PAL, NFPD and NFHS providing the essentials for a holiday meal to the less fortunate.


Van A diverse travel schedule that included, but was not limited to, trips for the Arts, music, STEM, chess, Army Corp of Engineers, Scholarbowl, UB Speaker Series, Tech Wars, UNTYS, and more.


Volunteer Fair Assisted and participated in NURenew volunteer fair and activity night at the Wilson Community Center.


Wilson Foundation 2018 brought the Foundation’s objectives into focus and programs and events were identified.  Some pilot programs were done with numerous endeavors planned for 2019 including a developmental track meet, a Kid’s Play Day, more collaborative programing with schools and agencies with an emphasis on participation.


Youth Forum:  They are the support at a myriad of PAL (Breakfast with Santa, concession trailer, Halloween event, Easter Camp, etc.) and community activities.  Without their efforts, many events would not be possible.


Moved to the Sheraton as a part of the Santa Dash festivities.  A few glitches that are easily solved, but the kids enjoyed the crafts and photo with the big man himself.



*Denotes new program.



Respectfully submitted,


Arthur E. Eberhart

Executive Director                                                      

2019 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:
Art Briglio
Paul Casseri
Julie Conti
Marc Daul
Jennifer Florio
Mike Gentile
Kristin Hall
Fred Kasper
Rich Meranto
Seth Piccirillo
Willie Price
Patrick Tighe
Curt Ventresca

John DeMarco
Michael Dunn
Dominic Florio
Karyn Morrison
Lou Paonessa
Tony Surace
Chris Salada
Kiki Ventresca

Executive Director:
Art Eberhart

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