Aaron’s of Selma recently donated $1,000 to the Selma Police Athletic League center to help the center’s basketball teams attend the national PAL tournament, which takes place July 20-25. --Robert Hudson
Aaron’s of Selma recently donated $1,000 to the Selma Police Athletic League center to help the center’s basketball teams attend the national PAL tournament, which takes place July 20-25. -- Robert Hudson

Aaron’s of Selma donates $1,000 to Selma’s Police Athletic League

Published 7:21pm Monday, March 11, 2013

The Police Athletic League basketball teams recently took one of the first steps toward its annual attendance of a national tournament.

Aaron’s of Selma recently donated $1,000 to the PAL center to help the center’s basketball teams attend the national PAL tournament, which takes place July 20-25.

Detective Dorothy Cowan, executive director of the Police Athletic League, said the funds will go a long way toward helping the center’s teams attend the national tournament once again.

“We have three basketball teams — two [for] 7th and 8th grade and one [for] 5th and 6th — and we’re trying to do everything to go to Lexington, Ky. to participate in a national PAL basketball tournament, which we do every year,” Cowan said. “To get there we need about $8,000, so we’re working on fundraising. We’ve been asking the community for help. And Aaron’s rental, they gave us $1,000 to go toward the trip.”

Keno Leflore, manager at Aaron’s, said he’s glad that Aaron’s was able to help and give something back to the community.

“It feels good to be able to do it. The PAL Eagles organization was reaching out to the community to help them,” Leflore said. “We have a program which we call ACORP and it stands for Aaron’s Community Outreach Program where we give back to the community. They’ve got a tournament they’re going to out of state, they need the funds, and I’m glad we’re here and able to help.”

Cowan said the PAL center will also look to do other fundraisers to help fund the trip to Kentucky.

“We’ve got our kettle corn, and that’s one of our biggest sellers, and we’re going to be selling a lot of that,” Cowan said. “We have a pretty good success rate with that.”

While the PAL center often participates in basketball tournaments, including having its 7th and 8th grade and fifth and sixth grade teams place first and second respectively at a recent tournament in Birmingham, Cowan said the program is also about mentoring.

“We use basketball to get them in here, but once we get them in here we check their attitude. They’re going to have to do their homework, they’re going to have to learn how to get along with people as well as their teammates,” Cowan said, “and just get them ready for life. Once they’re in here with us, they think we just play ball, but once they get in here we’ve got a mentoring program going on. Each one of our basketball players are members on that mentoring program and they have to participate in other things besides basketball. We just want to get them off the streets and keep them from doing something bad.”

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