For many kids, the Police Athletic League provides a new life experience, and the Aiken Department of Public Safety is asking the community to support the program through the Blue Night event on Friday, Aug. 15.
The sports league, commonly known as PAL, is administered through Public Safety and PAL director, LaLita Ashley.
“This is our only fundraiser,” she said. “We used to receive grants, but the fundraiser is how we exist to provide football and basketball equipment and travel for our track teams.”
The event will be held at Citizens Park in Aiken – starting with a 1-mile fun run at 7 p.m., followed by a 5K run and walk at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to the three activities, PAL will wrap up the race with family activities at the park.
The League was established to provide athletic and recreational activities – specifically for children ages 6 through 12, who may not qualify for traditional sports programs. The goal of PAL is to improve the quality of life for children living in the City of Aiken.
Ashley took a boy and a girl – both 8 years old – to a Junior Olympics tournament over the weekend. Each competed in shot put events.
“They hugged each other afterward,” Ashley said. “That’s what we do in PAL – teaching kids about sportsmanship, how to be team players and how values you can learn from sports (can help in life).”
Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard’s education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.
Blue Night fundraiser details
• Event: The Aiken Department of Public Safety is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for its Police Athletic League, also known as PAL.
• Details: The Blue Night event is scheduled at Citizens Park on Friday, Aug. 15. A 1-mile fun run for kids will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a 5K run and a 5K walk at 7:30 p.m.
• Registration: Participants may register before the event at 5:30 p.m. However, all runners and walkers and children are encouraged to preregister, which will guarantee receipt of a Blue Night T-shirt. Fees for the races are $25 for pre-registration and $30 on race day. The fun run is $10 for pre-registration and $15 on race day, plus another $5 if a shirt is requested.
• Application options: Registration forms may be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 803-642-7686. The applications also can be picked up at the Public Safety headquarters, 251 Laurens St., N.W. Yet another option will allow participants to register online at Active.com by entering a web address as follows: http://bit.ly/1iT54Tl.
• Early pick-up: Participants can pick up race bibs and T-shirts at Academy Sports, 321 Fabian Drive, on Thursday, Aug. 14, from to 8 p.m.
• More information: Visit the Aiken Department of Public Safety Police Athletic League on Facebook.
Aiken Standard File photo by Teddy Kulmala More than 200 contestants take off running at last year’s Blue Night Run in Citizens Park. The run raises money for the Aiken Department of Public Safety’s Police Athletic League.×