Team Effort Helps Revere Youths: Oldoni, Revere Police Drive Police Activities League to New Heights

When Kris Oldoni helped launch the Revere Police Activities League (PAL) 17 years ago, its main connection to the community was giving youths a safe, uplifting environment to play basketball while being mentored by adult leaders.

But the program has expanded well beyond the basketball court at the former Revere Jewish Community Center on Nahant Avenue. Today more than 150 Revere youths participate in a wide array of year-round activities under the leadership of Oldoni and backed by the support and resources of the Revere Police Department.

Revere Police Chief David Callahan has boosted the program with an increased presence of Revere officers at PAL events and programs.

Yes, there is still plenty of basketball and having open gym hours daily for Revere’s players has no doubt enhanced Coach David Leary’s boys basketball program at Revere High School.

But Oldoni, who was a stellar multi-sport athlete himself at Revere High, takes equal pride in the PAL’s work program that furnishes jobs for youths, its career development, team-building and social interaction programs, its field trips, and community service projects.

Oldoni said the PAL recently collaborated with Director of Healthy Community Initiatives Dimple Rana on its urban farming initiative.

“They had an initiative that they were pushing forward for local vegetable gardens, and we (PAL) built 22 vegetable garden beds, delivered them to residents, and filled them with soil,” said Oldoni. “It was great to work with Dimple. She and her staff followed through and collaborated with Bentley University to put together a gardening tool kit book that focuses on how to approach food sustainability for urban communities.”

Oldoni remembers the PAL’s basketball roots well. “Seventeen years ago, [former Police Chief] Terence Reardon had Dave Wilson bring me to the gym at 65 Nahant Avenue and now, we’ve sort of blossomed into this year-round program where we offer internships, career skills – and obviously we’re still doing basketball,” said Oldoni.

The Police Activities League director credits Mayor Brian Arrigo for his invaluable support of the program. Police Chief David Callahan has also been a positive role model for PAL participants that range from middle school students to recent college graduates.

“I remember Chief Callahan starting his involvement with the PAL when he was a patrol officer,” said Oldoni. “He’s got tremendous experience and understands how the program works and how beneficial it is to the young residents in our community.”

Oldoni is overjoyed with the success of the program and is looking forward to September when the new school years begins.  I’m very proud to say the Police Activities League is thriving,” said Oldoni.

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