Police Athletic League of Orlando/Apopka
750 South Orange Blossom Trail, Suite 123
Orlando, FL 32805
PAL’s mission remains unchanged — to keep young people out of trouble by channeling their energies into recreational and athletic programs.For more than 90 years, PAL programs have expanded to meet the new challenges faced by inner-city youth.
OUR LOCAL HISTORY
In 1967, Orlando Police Officer Chick Fryar began a social movement that would eventually be known as the Central Florida Police Athletic League. Officer Chick Fryar a well-known advocate in the City of Orlando, who grew up poor and was raised in the Paramore District area wanted to give back to his community. Mr. Fryar worked closely with the Chief of Police, Robert Chewning, who instructed police officers to seek out the needy in their districts and requested them to contact PAL for assistance. Officer Chick Fryar had a special concern and passion for the underprivileged children who lived in the Orlando area, especially when there were few safe places for them to play or have recreational activities. In reaction to this problem the police Chief Robert Chewing and Officer Chick Fryar organized a city-wide search for a place to start the Police Athletic League. Within three weeks, Officer Chick Fryar found the old Winn Dixie building at 220 S. Orange Blossom Trail and requested that the City of Orlando put in a playground at Lake Lorna Doone. In addition, Chief Robert Chewing and Mayor Carl Langford donated money out of their pockets, while also the City of Orlando gave thousands of dollars to assist with this project. In less than a month, there were 3,000 to 3,500 youth visiting the PAL building and the Lorna Doone Park. It was very apparent that the PAL kept a lot of children off the streets from selling drugs, stealing cars, breaking into buildings and many other crimes by giving them something productive to do while under proper supervision. Furthermore, the Orlando Police Department assisted with organizing police officers and volunteers to establish baseball, basketball and football teams. In 1976, due to PAL’s success and popularity, it was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with consistent support from private individuals and corporations. PAL developed into helping many kids become successful and staying out of trouble than ever before.
Even as of today, the Police Athletic League is a vibrant organization with a special goal; to help the youth of Orange County Florida escape the ravages of crime and despair, and to build their character to ensure a successful life.