When Jimmy Cherry stepped down as long-time Director of the Police Athletic League (PAL), a huge hole had to be filled. Gary Edwards and Phillip Petway decided the job was too big for one person. Edwards is the PAL Board appointed director and Petway fills the newly-created position of assistant director.



Edwards and Petway took over the running of PAL in April.



"We felt it would be best if there was a director and an assistant," Petway said. "That way the load wouldn't be too large for one person."

"It's fun but there's a lot of work involved," Edwards said.



Edwards is a school resource officer and a corporal with the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office. Petway is a farm management specialist for FAMU.

PAL is currently running its summer tutorial program along with an afternoon recreational program. There are two teachers in the summer program, Kaffa Owens and Grace Hill. Joe Williams, Jr. helps out with the afternoon recreation program.



Football will get under way soon for PAL. They are currently discussing playing the recreation department football teams again. Edwards feels sure they will be playing the rec department teams this year.



There are also three youth basketball teams playing and practicing in the afternoons at the Douglass Center. There is a 12-13 year-old team, 13-15 year old team and an 18 and under team. PAL has involved these teams with teams from the Boys Ranch and the Lake City Recreation Department.



The grand finale every year for the PAL summer program is a trip to Wild Adventures, this years trip was July 13. The last day of the summer program was July 15.



Once school is under way PAL will kick off its After-School Tutorial program. This costs $5 paid to PAL to cover insurance. The program helps kids with math and reading skills as well as providing FCAT coaching.

"We're looking for support from the community to keep PAL up and running," Edwards said. "We're open to any kid looking for a safe place to spend time."



This means girls too. Edwards would like to see more girls coming in interested in learning basketball fundamentals. And the girls always come out for cheerleading for football.



PAL is also looking for volunteers and coaches for football and cheerleading. If you would like to help, contact the Douglass Center at 386-364-2900 or stop by the Douglass Center and talk to Edwards.



Janet Schrader may be reached by calling 1/386/362-1734 ext. 132 or by e-mail at janet.schrader@gaflnews.com.

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