FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
POINT OF CONTACT: Lieutenant Neal Griffin, 760-839-4444
On Saturday, August 10th, the East Valley Community Center was rocking for the 4th annual “Keepin’em off the Streets” basketball game. The annual event is a fundraiser for the Escondido Police Athletic League, spearheaded by Escondido Police Lieutenant Al Owens. The game pits a team of city employees against PAL athletes, both current and from years past. This year’s city team featured a mix of Police Officers, Parks and Recreation Employees and City Manger Clay Phillips came out to represent City Hall. The PAL team included young people, age 14-20, who have benefited from an opportunity to participate as PAL Athletes. Several of these PAL athletes are former Escondido students who are now headed to college.
The City team had a slight lead at halftime and played hard through the second half. In the end, youth won out and the PAL team pulled away in the final minutes for an 89-78 victory. In addition to the basketball game there was a demonstration by the EPD Canine Team and static displays of police equipment.
“The real winner in this game was the community,” said Lt. Owens. “Many of these kids never participated in a sports program before getting involved in PAL.”
Each year over four hundred young people from Escondido participate in PAL activities that include basketball, soccer and safety academies, Owens said. Over $4,000.00 was raised through ticket sales, concessions, raffle prizes and a silent auction. The funds will be used to finance PAL activities in the coming year.
“This is a great event that gets better every year and we have Lt. Owens to thank for it,” Chief Craig Carter said. “The Police Athletic League is not just a benefit to the young people directly involved; it is a benefit to the entire community.”