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Livingstone steps up for Police Athletic League

By Laurie D. Willis

Livingstone College News Service

Today, dozens of young boys who participate in the city of Salisbury’s Police Athletic League will participate in playoff games at Livingstone College.

To the players the venue doesn’t much matter. They just want to get on the football field, do their best and hopefully come out with a win.

But to Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins, a Livingstone graduate, and PAL President Brian Miller, playing at Livingstone is a big deal.

“With so many playoff games it appeared it was going to be a long day and the games would run past dark,” Collins said. “We reached out to Dr. Felton at Livingstone to see whether we could play at their stadium because they have lights.”

Once Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. realized the PAL players needed a location for Saturday’s playoff games, he agreed to let Livingstone serve as host.

“It’s very helpful to us to play at Livingstone,” Miller said. “We had an okay from Salisbury High School, but it was to use their practice field which lacks a scoreboard and goal posts. Also, their practice field has bleachers on only one side, and there are no bathrooms so people attending the games would have had to use Port a Johns.

“Having the playoffs at Livingstone really saves us, and saves us money,” Miller continued. “This is a good example of the college stepping up to the plate and helping out the community. We’re a nonprofit organization and most of our kids are from low-income families, so this is a real blessing to us.”

Jenkins said he’s glad Livingstone College was able to offer its field for use on Saturday to such a worthwhile organization.

“The Police Athletic League is important because it gives young boys and girls a chance to participate in sports and cheerleading, stresses the importance of academics and exposes them to role models in the community,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s great that we’re going to have a good number of young children and their parents inside Alumni Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and I hope many of the young people will one day be students here at Livingstone.”

Police Athletic Leagues have four age groups — 6 and under, 8 and under, 10 and under and 12 and under, Miller said. He said four playoff games will be held at Livingstone on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m., and three will be played at Knox Middle School.

Collins, who’s been very instrumental in providing support for the league, couldn’t say enough about Livingstone’s benevolence.

“I’m extremely grateful for Livingstone’s willingness to step up and provide the facility, which is fitting the bill for exactly what is needed,” Collins said. “I understand when Dr. Felton asked Dr. Jenkins about it, he didn’t hesitate and jumped at the chance to help out. Every time we’ve asked Livingstone to help out with something with the police athletic league they’ve always been willing to do so.”

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