Helping Pal In Its Aim Of Helping The Young

Posted: February 04, 1997

For 50 years, the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia has been carrying out its mission of ``Cops Helping Kids.'' It has grown from a few clubrooms set up in police stations to an organization serving 24,000 boys and girls at 22 PAL Centers. PAL operates on the premise that it costs $300 a day to keep a youth in a detention center, while it costs about 30 cents a day to keep a youngster in PAL.

The award dinner, PAL's major fund-raising event, promises to be a more lavish affair this year than usual. Chaired by Joanne Harmelin and William Stallkamp with a campaign goal of $1.5 million, it will be held May 22 at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel.

Details of the dinner and marching orders for sponsors were given out at a preview lunch Jan. 23 at the Rittenhouse Hotel that was attended by, among others, PAL board chairman Richard E. Meyers and Police Commissioner and PAL president Richard Neal.

This year, the dinner will honor seven longtime PAL supporters: Sally Berlin, who has been communications and development director for more than 24 years, who was at the lunch with her husband, Sam; John K. Binswanger, former PAL board chairman; broadcast pioneer Lewis Klein, also a former board chairman; philanthropist Ronald Krancer, chairman of the PAL scholarship program; Steven Head, a PNC Bank vice president and PAL scholarship recipient; James McCabe of Coopers & Lybrand, another former board chairman; and James E. Schleif, executive vice president of Mercy Health Corp. and immediate past chairman.

Also at the lunch were the cochairs of this year's Souvenir Tribute book: Kernie Anderson, general manager of WDAS-AM and FM; Zvi Muscal, chairman of First Republic Bank; and Diana L. Roca, regional director of the Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Others seen at the lunch included Andrea McArdle, Shirley Bonnem, Buntzie Ellis Churchill, Sandra Kenton, Anthony Clifton, James Ginty, Marilyn Fernberger, Dianne Semingson, Philip Kind Jr., Dick Doran, Tom Kelly, of the Four Seasons Hotel, and Sharon Rajnic, executive director of the Shriners Hospital. The hospital will move to its new facilities at Broad and Venango at the end of the year.

LOOKING AHEAD * While we're looking ahead, on March 22 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the museum's Young Friends will hold their first Griffin Gala, which takes its name from the mythical bird that is the museum's logo.

Details were announced Wednesday at a cocktail party at Zanzibar Blue. Guests included event cochairs Bonnie Galter and Eileen Madigan; Young Friends cochairs Anja Levitties and Bill Higgins; Pop Shenian; Joseph Scott; Lisa Witomski; Kelly Schaeffer; Todd Williams; Michelle Baymore, there with Thomas Janke; and Chris Davies, who was dressed in late medieval garb. ``I'm the Renaissance Man,'' he said, referring to the theme of the party, which will be held in the museum's arms and armor galleries.

The party also will feature a silent auction and offer a chance to sample Spanish and Italian wines and dance to music that promises to be anything but medieval. The band: Seven Potato Baby.

Speaking of wine-tasting, on Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton the 1997 Food & Wine Festival was launched with a ``Flight of Fancy'' wine-tasting that benefited the Breast Health Institute. Among the 450 guests, who could sample more than 70 kinds of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, as well as feast on a buffet put together by chef Trish Morrissey, were longtime BHI supporters Shelly and Dr. Gordon Schwartz and Elaine and Dr. Sidney Grobman; David Lipson and Stephanie Smith of Philadelphia Magazine, which cosponsored the event; hotel manager Lennie Zilz; Herb Tapper; and Dr. Anna Meadows and her husband, Dr. Alfred Knudson.

The festival runs through May 4.

TAKING FLIGHT * And speaking of fancy flights, Thursday also was a members preview at the Academy of Natural Sciences of ``Hunters of the Sky,'' an exhibition devoted to birds of prey. Among those at the opening were Dr. Robert Ridgely, chairman of the department of ornithology, and academy president Paul Hanley, who noted that the exhibition originated at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

One exhibit shows the extent to which raptors have adapted to urban life: a depiction of a peregrine falcon taking off from a city skyline in pursuit of a pigeon. It recalls the falcon that was found roosting last year on the ledge of a Broad Street office building; this one, however, is in Minneapolis.

The show runs through May 4.

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