Josh Harris to give $3.5 million to PAL of Philadelphia


Sixers owner Josh Harris will be donating $3.5 million to the Philadelphia Police Athletic League, it was announced Thursday. This will be the largest gift to the non-profit organization in its 68-year history.

The $3.5 million gift will be spread out over five years and will help fund the development of PAL’s strategic plans which include hiring staff, evaluating PAL programs, investing in PAL facilities and establishing long-term financial and operational sustainability.

The PAL is an independent non-profit corporation where policemen are committed to helping children in the area. The Philadelphia PAL has 18 centers across the region.

Harris, who bought the Sixers back in 2011, held a news conference Thursday at a PAL center in the Harrowgate section to discuss the Harris Family Foundation’s planned pledge to the organization.

“PAL offers excellent programs that help thousands of young Philadelphians develop self-confidence, stay motivated in school, and play a positive role in their communities,” Harris said in a statement. “At a time when many more kids need support, we’re proud to help PAL grow accordingly, with a systematic program to increase total enrollment, put more police officers onto the basketball courts and playing fields with the young people, and strengthen the core organizational operations that will serve PAL for decades to come.”

According to a report, PAL had a revenue of $2.2 million in 2013.

“PAL is a bedrock institution in this city and is particularly important for fostering respectful relations between young people and police,” said Mayor Michael Nutter, honorary president of PAL. “It’s heartening that the Harris Family Foundation is seeking to build upon and sustain PAL’s role for the future. This investment will allow thousands more young people and their families to benefit from PAL’s free after-school and summer activities, and to find the support they need to have success in all aspects of their lives.”

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