PAL Gets Kids Ready For School

    Hundreds of kids had a great night at the PAL Back to School event on August 5. A steady stream of families came through the PAL Center to get ready for a new school year. Approximately 200 elementary, 50 middle school and 75 high school students enjoyed pizza, ice cream, games, face painting, and nail painting while getting books from the mobile library, free haircuts, sports physicals, and school supplies.

    Recruiters from Academy Elementary were there to chat with families and high schoolers got to meet with PAL board member, Coach Bill O’Connor. He was on-hand to help them with post-high school plans such as college, vocational training or job placement. About 60 volunteers helped manage the various activities and made sure everyone had a good time and got what they needed to start school on a positive note. It was a fun, successful night and we appreciate everyone who made it possible!

    A Thank You From the PAL Panthers Softball Team

    A Thank You From the PAL Panthers Softball Team

    A Thank You From the PAL Panthers Softball Team

    On behalf of the 6 young ladies that traveled to Washington, DC this past weekend and the three PAL softball coaches – THANK YOU!!!! Because of your generous donations, we were able to provide each girl with spending money for the trip, as well as some cute souvenirs – a DC t-shirt, pen, key chain, and postcard to send home to their families. Also, a HUGE thank you to Joe LaMothe for donating Royals tickets for our raffle! The girls raised an additional $235 themselves.

    Unfortunately, the KC softball team went 0-4 and only the top 4 teams were selected to move into tournament play. They still got to partake in a slew of activities, though! They attended FanFest, Play Ball Park, Futures/Legends Celebrity Game, the MLB Homerun Derby, and they were able to watch the KC baseball team play in the championship game. They also got to meet the legendary Jennie Finch!!! Overall, this was such an absolutely incredible experience for all of us and we couldn’t have made it happen without your help. Check out the images on KCMO Pal Facebook page.

    Thanks again,

    Coach Courtney
    Coach Meredith
    Coach Rashawnda
    MDC and Conservation Partners Donate Archery and Fishing Gear to Kansas City Police Youth Program

    MDC and Conservation Partners Donate Archery and Fishing Gear to Kansas City Police Youth Program

    Donations benefit Police Athletic League of Kansas City

    Kansas City, Mo. – The Police Athletic League of Kansas City is adding a competitive target archery program to its outreach efforts in the city’s urban core, thanks to a donation of equipment by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation. The league’s fishing outings received a boost with new gear, too, just in time for spring. MDC and partners made the donations March 16 at the league’s gym and community center, 1801 White Ave.

    Kansas City police officers staff the gym, and other police officers and community members volunteer their time to teach sports and values to youngsters. The league’s complex has athletic fields in addition to the gym. Activities include sports such as football, soccer, boxing, basketball. They also teach dance, offer after-school activities and host neighborhood events.

    “When we work with kids with sports, it gets kids comfortable being around police officers,” said Officer Shawnee Nix.

    Sgt. Skip Cox said the program reaches out to 800 to 1,000 youngsters and their families. Some are helped through tough situations in their neighborhood such as poverty or crime. Officers see people with difficult challenges. But they’ve also had success steering youngsters on to careers or college.

    “To get them to feel safe, that’s what we do here,” Cox said.

    Now, competitive target archery based on the Missouri National Archery in Schools Program (MoNASP) will be worked into the league’s activities. The Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation provided funding for bows, arrows, targets, and a target curtain valued at almost $1,200. An MDC staffer made and donated floor quivers to hold arrows. The simple compound bows are easy to shoot and MoNASP safety protocols allow participants of all ages and physical abilities to be competitive and enjoy success. Target archery is fun and builds self confidence in youngsters.

    “This is going to give our kids something more than athletics to do,” Nix said.

    Once the youngsters are trained, Nix plans to take them to observe and then shoot with the MoNASP participants at the Nashua Elementary School in the Northland.

    The league also received a donation of fishing rods and reels from the Nathan’s Catch Foundation. Making the presentation was Russell Giron of Lee’s Summit. His family started the foundation in honor of his late son who loved the outdoors. Giron was also present at the donation as a board member for the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.

    “We’re trying to get kids fishing and in the outdoors,” Giron said. “We have a lot of things in our state that kids can do that are to the advantage for kids.”

    MDC staff told officers that MDC offers additional outdoor opportunities such as educational programs at nature centers in the Kansas City area and the Discover Nature — Fishing program.

    Also in attendance for the donations were Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Missouri state representatives from the Kansas City area including Ingrid Burnett, Brandon Ellington, and Daron McGee.

    For more information about the MoNASP archery program, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZSE. To learn about MDC’s free Discover Nature — Fishing program that teaches families angling skills, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z4y.

    From the Missouri Department of Conversation, published March 19, 2018

    Photo by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation