PARSIPPANY — The Police Athletic League is Parsippany’s foremost charitable, non-profit, youth organization. The PAL operates with the sole purpose to provide the community with an important outlet for kids to stay healthy, play, learn important life skills, and socialize in a safe environment.
There is a common misnomer that the Parsippany PAL is simply an entity of the Township funded by tax dollars, when in fact, the PAL operates with a substantial degree of independence. The PAL is a private, community foundation that needs the support of the community’s public resources to build successful sports and enrichment programs that will have a positive impact on the attitude and health of the area’s children.
The PAL is a charitable, nonprofit sustained with funds and volunteers that embody the best of Parsippany. Local funding sources have the clearest understanding of the communities needs, from local partners, the PAL receives substantial funding and support from the following:
- Township; Mayor Jaimie Barberio and Council
- PAL Program Registrations
- Ion Bank (formerly Lincoln First)
- Women’s Club of Parsippany
- Individual Donations
- PAL Room Rentals (source of PAL to raise funds)
The PAL is looking to build on this base of support and the PAL must raise additional funds from program sponsors and other fundraising campaigns to help maintain and improve the facility (the PAL building) and sustain our programs. Cross-sector collaboration and partnerships between the PAL and local businesses as well as our government agencies are essential to create community solutions and improvements. Here in Parsippany, the Township depends on the PAL and other charitable nonprofits to provide efficient and effective services to residents that would be more costly if provided by others. Likewise, the PAL, as a whole, earns about a third of its total revenue by providing services under written agreements with the township.
The construction of the facility provided a way for the community to work together for the common good, filling a need, and transforming shared beliefs and hopes into action. The erection of the PAL/Youth Center gave shape for our youth to develop their boldest dreams, highest ideals, and noblest causes right here in Parsippany. Today, the PAL helps to educate, inspire, enlighten, and nurture kids and adults of every age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. They foster civic engagement and leadership, drive economic growth, and strengthen the fabric of our community. Every single day. They have completely redesigned the model in which they operate, from a facility that largely rents out the facility to develop their own program offerings.
The Parsippany PAL is home for all things community, recreation, and enrichment – if you haven’t visited the facility before, come on by and take a tour! The Parsippany PAL is an amazing facility and you will find something fun and exciting for every member of your family! The PAL is home to two full-sized basketball courts and gyms, perfect for all of your indoor sporting needs. They have a large All-Purpose Room full of ideas, gatherings, meetings, and enrichment activities/classes. The specialized sports and athletic development programs are incredible as we have our own PAL Hall of Fame Boxing Coach on staff, as well as athletic trainers from Parisi Speed School. The PAL runs and organizes seasonal and recreational sporting programs, enrichment classes, and community events for youth and adults – there is something for everyone!
Recently, Mayor Barberio met with PAL Director Sam Yodice and discussed several topics including the number of Parsippany families that participate at the PAL as their primary source of physical activity. Also part of the discussion was a collaborative effort to move the PAL forward with new programming ideas that extend beyond traditional sports. “It was exciting to hear of all the new programming ideas,” the Mayor provided his continued support.
“We are here to ensure that the PAL sports and activities continue to improve as a key way for our kids to grow while making sure this building remains is safe, clean, friendly place to go.”
The Mayor toured the PAL to see some of the recent upgrades made to the facility and also identified areas of the building that will require significant funds as necessary capital improvements to an aging PAL building. Funds that the PAL will hope to raise through public and private funding.
“This building, the PAL is owned by the organization, not the township, the responsibility falls on the organization to fundraise to keep programs affordable and make the necessary improvements to this facility,” Yodice said.
Youth sports and the PAL were put through the wringer, the pandemic had a major impact on the PAL, as they were not able to host programs or operate for nearly two years. While accessibility and participation are starting to rebound, there’s so much work to be done.
Mayor Barberio discussed with Sam Yodice the many effects that COVID had on the PAL.
“Financially, the pandemic decimated the organization, as a private nonprofit. The PAL’s operating reserves were depleted, just like so many other businesses, but still had financial obligations to meet mortgage payments, utilities, and service contracts. A 36,000 sq. ft. building to maintain, etc.” said Yodice. “Financially, from an organizational and capital structure perspective, the effects of COVID-19 will continue to have lasting effects on the PAL for years”
So, when it was time to come back … they were as excited as anyone to start delivering programs; As a non-profit organization, every program/every sponsorship/every fundraiser is an important element to protect the building, maintain it, and continue to serve the community of Parsippany.
But they are BACK and rolling out more programs than ever! This year has been a wonderful year for the PAL as they have been able to establish several new and exciting programs while continuing to grow and develop the core foundations. “We are so excited about all of the activity and new programming at the PAL – it’s GREAT to be back,” said Yodice. We hope to see you soon for a workout, a basketball game, or maybe some pickleball. Whatever it is, we have something for everyone – and can’t wait to see you!”
Some of the core programs include:
OPEN GYM: Youth Residents of all ages thru High School are FREE!
SPECIAL NEEDS: “Games with Friends” is a fun and fully inclusive program where kids with special needs learn to play fun and simple games while developing new friendships with peers
BASKETBALL: Recreation and Travel; The program incorporates K-High School students and last year soared past 650 kids in 13 different grade groups!
FLAG FOOTBALL: Spring and Fall Recreational leagues, an activity perfect for all skill sets!
WRESTLING: Popular program continues to see growth and excitement from our athletes and volunteer coaches!
CHEER: PAL Comp Cheer team competitions will power through the winter and end in late February/early March.
BOXING: Youth and Adult Contact/Non-Contact programs and instruction: Led by NJ Hall of Fame Boxer Ed Leahy!
The boxing fitness room will help get you in shape, improve your hand/eye coordination, and elevate all of your fitness levels!
ICE HOCKEY: Middle School Ice hockey at the PAL is for players grades 6-8 from both schools in Parsippany. They have worked really hard to continue to introduce new programs and activities to our community this year.
The goal is to continue the focus on different ways we can impact ‘mind’ and ‘body,’ for both youth and adults.
NEW programs in 2022 included…
INTRODUCTION TO CHESS Led by an experienced 30-year instructor
ART Classes; Nurture your child’s interest in drawing and painting in this colorful workshop!
GIRLS FIELD HOCKEY – Clinics and Rec League. Coached and Led by our local Field Hockey High School Booster Clubs
PICKLEBALL: Youth and Adults; this new sport is exciting and a popular activity for all to play (No experience required!)
FALL PARENT & ME MULTI SPORTS: Parent & Me Multi Sports Squirts program allows children to try a variety of sports with a helping hand from Mom or Dad
Adult Men’s Basketball League
Introduction to CODING AND ROBOTICS…You don’t want to miss this one!
V-Team Tutoring and Educational Support…The partners from the V-Team are licensed educators ready to elevate your performance in the classroom
As Winter ’22-’23 approaches, the PAL will soon host ‘Parents Night Out’ on select Friday evenings. They will ask Mom and Dad to take a much-needed night off and they will keep the kids busy with fun activities – be sure to look for this soon!
And please join the PAL’s Holiday Spirit Contest in December. They invite residents to register and then festively decorate their homes for the holidays! The most creative, festive, and highest tallied votes will win great PAL prizes!
They have recently revived the Sponsorship Program and have great ways for local businesses, organizations, and groups to get involved with the PAL…and help serve the local community.
Every year, they invite local businesses to sponsor a team, program, event, or much-needed capital improvement that could include naming rights and exposure.
Sponsoring the organization is not only a great way to get involved with the community; it’s also an amazing form of marketing for your business. Their programs have over 1,000 families participating in programs.
That means your business will have branding in front of hundreds of people and generate thousands of impressions in the Parsippany area. With that type of exposure, everyone will remember that your business supported the PAL.
They understand that you have several choices when considering different marketing and community outreach opportunities, but truly believe that this is a great fit. If you want something a little more customized in return for your sponsorship, they are very open to your ideas.
The PAL thanks you for your continued support. You are making Parsippany a better place to live and PLAY by supporting the PAL.
If you have any questions, please contact PAL Executive Director, Sam Yodice directly at (973) 917-3370 or email@example.com.
Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, December 2022