Infusion helps youth organization rebuild

by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Boxing coach Jamie Huey helps Jake Amaya with his technique at Beaverton PAL's after-school boxing program. Amaya was getting in his last training session before the first fight of his career the next day.A $20,000 Nike’s Employee Grant Fund award to the Beaverton Police Activities League’s boxing program provides a further boost to an organization whose future was in doubt earlier this year.

Leaders of the youth activities league known as PAL announced the award to participating children and league stakeholders on Wednesday evening, Oct. 9, at the Beaverton Activity Center Gym — the organization’s base of operations — at 12500 S.W. Allen Blvd.

“Today, PAL is on solid financial footing, and this OCF/Nike grant demonstrates the confidence that foundations have for this important organization,” said Beaverton Police Chief Geoff Spalding.

The Beaverton program — which provides recreational, educational, athletic and cultural programs for area youths between 8 and 18 years old — lost funding in February. PAL of Greater Portland announced it no longer had resources to maintain its programs and keep centers open, which included the Westside center in Beaverton.

City of Beaverton leaders stepped in to cover immediate payroll costs, while an outpouring of support at the Mayor’s Ball on Feb. 15 and an April 13 fundraising luau at the Jenkins Estate in Aloha helped keep the doors open.

Spalding worked with others in the hobbled organization to re-establish the activities league under a new 501(c)3 nonprofit status, forming a new, 13-member board of directors. Along with fundraising events, Spalding sought out similar grant opportunities from area businesses and organizations, including Nike, whose world headquarters’ campus is located at Southwest Murray Boulevard and Jenkins Road.

Nike’s Employee Grant Fund was established in 2010 to benefit communities where Nike employees work and live. Through the fund, Nike employees work with the Oregon Community Foundation to award at least $550,000 per year to nonprofits and schools in the greater Portland region and Southwest Washington. Nike employees review grant applications while volunteering their time and expertise to assist organizations that apply.

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle praised Nike and the community foundation for coming together to revive a community organization that was on the ropes financially.

“Nike and its dedicated employees continue to support our community through their donations to organizations like PAL,” he said. “This donation helps some of our most vulnerable children.”

Founded in New York in 1937 to offer children a safe place to play and interact with police officers, the activities league evolved into a partnership between youth, law enforcement and community volunteers. Today’s PAL works closely with youth to offer a balance of educational enrichment and recreational activities in a safe, supervised environment. In addition to boxing and other athletic programs, the league’s offerings include an IBM-sponsored computer learning center, an Intel Computer Club House to promote creative use of technology, arts and crafts and recreation rooms, and a youth-run kitchen for nutrition classes and creating healthy snacks.

“PAL offers kids a stable and safe place to go where they can develop positive relationships with Beaverton police officers,” Spalding said. “The program has had such a positive impact — we’ve seen firsthand how many of these kids have developed leadership skills and are now on the path toward a bright future.”

To volunteer or for more information about PAL, call Director Jocelyn Simpson at 503-469-9137, email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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