What We Do

The Police Athletic League of Wilmington gives our youth a safe haven to go after school and channels their energies in positive directions to promote self-esteem, good life choices, and healthy lifestyles.  Our center has a full time police officer and dedicated staff who work to enhance the positive moral development of our young people through a large variety of sports, education, and recreational programs.  All of PALW’s programs are completely free of charge.

Support Your PAL

PALW is a nonprofit 501c3 organization that appreciates both volunteers and donations to help fund the programs that we offer for Wilmington’s youth.



PAL was founded in 1914 by Captain John Sweeney, commanding officer of a Lower East Side police precinct in New York City.  The PAL mission remains unchanged- to keep young people out of trouble by channeling their energies into recreational and athletic programs.

est. June 2002

The Police Athletic League of Wilmington (PALW), Inc. opened its door to the community in June 2002.  Since then, the number of citizens served and the variety of programs offered continue to increase.

Our Continued Promise

In addition to its focus on youth, the PALW opens its doors to the community seven days a week, hosting civic associations and public service organizations which utilize the facility to plan and implement community service activities. PALW maintains its status as an emergency shelter and has served residents during Hurricane Isabella in 2002; those displaced by fires which destroyed the Crestview Apartments and Speakman Place, and families evacuated due to flooding of the 28th Street Apartment Complex.  PALW stands ready to shelter people in the community when an emergency arises.

Organization & Leadership


  • Leon Sawyers
  • Vincent Catanzaro, Esq.
    Vice President
  • Harry Marrero
  • Grace Stockley
    Board Secretary
  • Wilbert L. “Bunny” Miller
    Executive Director

Board of Directors

  • Alice Sawyer
  • Captain Faheen Akil
  • Chief Anthony Goode
  • James Lane
  • Vanessa Minor
  • Wayne Portlock
  • William Resto

Administrative Staff

  • Kenneth Jackson
    Assistant Executive Director
  • Wendy Roberts
    Administrative Assistance
  • Tawana Ricks
    Child Care Director
  • Christopher Purnell
    Director of Program Development
  • Deirdra Golden
    Before & After School Care
  • M/Cpl Brian Witte
    Liaison Officer

Partners & Sponsors

Picture4RCF Picture10WPA Picture16Picture2 Dupont  WaWa Bushido    Shook Hardy and BaconAdvitaSeberlichSAM Picture9  Job Corps  Bail BondPeirce Park Group   Lea BLVD. AutoLaw office of Dale Bower Picture29    First Choice Auto and Truck RepairRock Manor