A sell-out crowd of over 400 people came out to celebrate 50 years of SFPAL history. On Tuesday, October 20, 2009 the United Irish Cultural Center was packed to capacity. Everyone cheered as emcee Renel Brooks-Moon inducted 19 coaches, mentors, police officers, and professional athletes into our inaugural Hall of Fame.
Senator Mark Leno came and presented a Resolution from the California Senate commending SFPAL. Assemblywoman Fiona Ma awarded each Hall of Fame inductee with a Certificate of Recognition. Mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed October 20, 2009 Police Activities League Day.
This year the San Francisco Police Activities League turned a half-century old. But along with the opportunity to look back at all our inspiring SFPAL champions — the kids who won the championships, the kids who tried, the kids who just worked hard everyday and the coaches who championed all of their causes every step of the way — it gives us a chance to look ahead. In this 50th year of SFPAL, our goal is no less to re-launch, re-energize, re-inspire the program that has benefitted so many young people in our community over the last five decades. So in the the coming months and years, you’re going to see a lot more talk and a lot more activity about this organization. You’re going to see more police involved. You’re going to see more civilians involved. You’re going to see more kids involved. You’re seeing our new website right now. And you’re going to be seeing new TV commercials to help drum up support. We’re hoping that, with the help of the community, this will be the best half-century SFPAL ever has.
We wanted to make this more than a place where you could sign up and get schedules — though it’s even easier to do now than it was before. We wanted to make this an online community where you can browse through the history of this organization and post stories and photos of how you and your kids and teams and coaches are making SFPAL history of your own. Please take a few minutes to glance through all the sections and stories and the wonderful photos from the archives — maybe you’ll see an old picture of your dad, mom, grandpa, uncle or old school pal.
As part of our 50th anniversary celebration, we’ve established the SFPAL Hall of Fame and inducting some of the tireless supporters and coaches who’ve kept us going and made us proud for 50 years. The inaugural class of the Hall of Fame includes: Gus Bruneman, Ed Chow, Gary Delagnes, Heather Fong, Pete Franceschi Sr., Pete Gardner, Rotea Gilford, Earl Gonsolin, Dan Hance, Sophia Isom, Jim Meyer, Joe Mollo, Ray Musante, Kevin Restani, Vera Rogulsky, Donald Strickland, Kelly Waterfield, Thelma Williams.