April 11, 2017 / Category: by Team BH
In recent years, some communities and their police departments have seen the sad deterioration of an important civic relationship. Although our times seem more challenging than ever, the truth is, a concerted effort has always been required to ensure that the relationship between law enforcement and community youth stays positive.
The Police Athletic League (PAL) has been running programs in Florida since the early 1980s, but making an impact in American cities for more than 100 years. Created by New York City Police Commissioner Arthur Woods in 1914, today’s dozens of PALs carry forth the mission and spirit of the founder. They offer at-risk youth a variety of after-school and summer programs intended to teach not only the value of discipline but also build participants’ self-esteem to see them through life’s many challenges. But like all non-profit organizations, support is always needed in the form of funding and volunteering.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deerfield Beach PAL (Deerfield PAL) is no exception to this non-profit rule. Providing a comprehensive list of programs for youth that includes tennis, soccer, boxing, karate, and baseball as well as academic tutoring and mentoring, Deerfield PAL relies on generous donors and volunteers to keep things going and to continue making an impact. The Barry and Renee Honig Charitable Foundation has provided this assistance since 2010 and continues to do so.
Barry Honig has been an avid and decorated boxer since his youth, and when his trainer Steve Collazo told him about his work as head boxing coach for Deerfield PAL, Barry wanted to know more. “Barry told me that he wanted to help,” said Collazo. “He genuinely cares about the kids and their future. He’s in it for them and for them alone. He has contributed not only a significant amount of money, but also his time as a mentor. We couldn’t do what we do for the youth in our programs if it wasn’t for people like Barry.”
Because Barry has been so active in sports, and particularly boxing, all of his life, he wanted to focus his support on the Deerfield PAL boxing program. He has donated money and equipment and spent time with program participants, giving them valuable advice about self-discipline and encouraging them to take their education seriously. Many of the youth in the Deerfield PAL program have heeded this advice and are excelling in athletics, as well as succeeding in life. But once Barry became involved with Deerfield PAL, his support went beyond the boxing ring.
“We put together a tutoring program and a deejay program for our youth, and Barry funded both of them, completely,” said Collazo. “Every time I see him he asks me what I need for the kids. I don’t even need to ask him, he’s the one asking me! We are so grateful for Barry and Renee.”
The Barry and Renee Honig Charitable Foundation works tirelessly to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential by supporting organizations dedicated to the betterment of children’s lives. This mission lines up perfectly with the mission of PAL. By supporting organizations like Deerfield PAL, the Honig Foundation helps bring law enforcement and urban youth closer together, instead of tearing them further apart. Commissioner Arthur Woods wanted the police to be “the best friend a kid can have.” He wanted them to have safe places to play and to learn skills to keep them out of trouble. Barry and Renee Honig also want this, and through their support of Deerfield PAL, they are making it happen.