BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you’re planning on attending the annual Buffalo Ball Drop, you’re helping an organization that does so much for our local kids. Proceeds from the NYE celebration go to the Buffalo Police Athletic League, which helps more than 10,000 kids a year here in WNY.
“We get the opportunity to take these kids on experiences, with police officers, that they have never encountered,” Nekia Kemp said, the executive director of the Buffalo PAL.
Of course the event at the Electric Tower is free, but Kemp said she expects to bring in about $10,000 for the Buffalo PAL on NYE, mainly through sponsors of the event. The Buffalo Police Athletic League has been offering fun programs to our local kids for more than 65 years. The non-profit gives kids ages 5-21 a safe, productive place to go have fun, learn, and stay out of trouble.
“Mayor Brown’s ‘Game Changers’ program takes place on Friday nights, so prime time 6-to-9 p.m. (we’re) getting youth off the streets and getting them to work with positive youth adults and officers while they’re playing basketball, and making new relationships, and forming new bonds with other youth.”
In the summer months, there are four full-day summer camps as well.
And everything is free.
“We really focus on not just their physical health, but also their social and emotional health,” Kemp said. “(We’re) getting them out there to learn leadership skills, money management, among other things… also mentorship.”
The organization brings in Buffalo Police officers who enjoy teaching the kids activities that they enjoy themselves. For example, at one facility there is a boxing gym, which several officers are really passionate about. In turn, the kids get excited about the sport too.
Buffalo PAL fosters good relationships, teaches children valuable life lessons, and allows them to have fun and just be kids.
In a couple weeks, Buffalo PAL will be going to Kissing Bridge for their ‘Learn to Ski’ program. Many of the kids have never skied in their lives.