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Lincoln Police Acitivity League (PAL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering positive relationships founded on mutual respect, trust and understanding between police officers and young people.

Through PAL, young people are afforded the opportunity to participate in free monthly outdoor activities including camp outs, high ropes courses, fishing derbies and baseball games as well as free cultural activities such as museum tours and attending professional sports games.

Lincoln PAL was established in April, 1997 by Lieutenant Paul Shelgren, Cheri Chariatti, City Councilman Ray Sprague, Wink and Sheri Thixton and Michael Storz.

“We found a void in the community and we realized we did not have a good mechanism for having the officers interact with the kids in the community,” Shelgren said.

Since its inception, more than 1,000 young people, 8 years to 18 years old, from all neighborhoods of Lincoln and its surrounding areas have participated in PAL activities. Occasionally, younger children are involved in the program through an older sibling.

One of PAL’s longest running events takes place every summer. The Junior Giants baseball program offers kids the opportunity to play on a free team and compete in three games per week from the last week of July until the first week of September. Coaches are often local police officers, firefighters and parent volunteers. The program focuses on sportsmanship and helps teach core values while building positive relationships between local children and community leaders.

Recently, the PAL board of directors has expanded to include more than 20 members who meet at the Lincoln Police Department on the third Monday of every month. The goal of the expansion, Shelgren said, is to help streamline running the business side of things within the organization.

Funding for PAL comes chiefly from local sponsors, grants, in-house fundraisers and, to a lesser degree, the Lincoln Police Department.

Sponsorships are available at all levels. Interested parties should contact Steve Krueger at 916-343-3632 or visit www.lincolnpal.com for more information.

Lincoln PAL also needs qualified volunteers to help with monthly activities. Contact Steve Krueger at 916-343-3632 for further information. All volunteers must undergo a background check.

Lincoln PAL activities are open free of charge to all community youth between 8 and 18 years of age. To register, simply visit the Lincoln Police Department, located at 770 7th Street, or log onto www.lincolnpal.com.