- April 19, 2016
For the next 20 years, the Ormond Beach Police Athletic League will receive an annual $30,000 donation from local developer and longtime supporter Paul Holub.
Established in 1996, OBPAL encourages positive relationships between the police department, local youth and the community through sports and academic programs.
The recurring donation is a “phenomenal step forward” for the organization, OBPAL Community Program Coordinator Lisa Messersmith said during a check presentation Thursday, March 23.
“The blessing that you will put in the lives of our children and their families in the community for so many years, and the transition that we’ll have in their lives for better futures, is phenomenal,” she said.
Once the 20 years have passed, Holub’s contribution will total $600,000.
The funding will create longterm stability for OBPAL’s programs, Messersmith told the Observer.
“There’s no way a community program can survive inside a box,” she said. “You have to be engaged with community partners, businesses, individuals, volunteers — because you’re serving the community, and you can only serve it with their help.”
Holub said he was motivated to donate after seeing the range of programs OBPAL offers.
“It’s one of those charities that, being in town in our community, is certainly deserving,” Holub said. “And it needs to be promoted more because when you see PAL with the police logo and all that ... they think it’s just sports — which, sports is a big part of it and it’s an important part, but it’s more than that.”
Holub has supported OBPAL’s events and Christmas toy drive for about 15 years, but only recently realized the impact of the program’s tutoring and leadership initiatives.
Holub said he’s seen it firsthand by watching people like OBPAL Athletic Activities Specialist Avery Randolph and Officer Greg Stokes interact with the children.
“You don’t get a lot of opportunity to have an impact on kids these days,” Holub said. “Even as a teacher at school, you just don’t get that opportunity, but with sports, you’re not only are teaching them to play the game or raise their skill level, but you’re teaching them about being confident and self-esteem, and those type of things, and these guys — they do that.”
The idea for the donation came to Holub while he was building the new basketball court at the South Ormond Neighborhood Center. Holub donated the court and regularly plays pickup basketball there.
He hopes his new donation inspires others to donate or volunteer to OBPAL.
“Even though this is not a large amount in the scope of things, at least it’s something that they know they can rely on and work off that,” Holub said.
OBPAL board member Doug Thomas thanked Holub during the check presentation.
“I’ve been on this PAL board for maybe 25 or 26 years and never have we had such a generous, generous contribution to our program for some of the most economically-challenged children in our community,” Thomas said.
The police department and OBPAL would have appreciated even a one-year donation, Ormond Beach Police Chief Jesse Godfrey said. To have recurring annual donations, he said, is awesome.
“We were shocked and we were stunned,” Godfrey said. “We’ve had people do good things in the community, but this is clearly one of the best things I’ve ever seen since I’ve been here in Ormond Beach, even before I became a police officer.”
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington said the average resident likely is unaware of OBPAL’s positive impact on local youth. Holub’s donation, Partington, will help enhance the program’s efforts.
“We are so appreciative of this legacy gift that will positively impact generations of Ormond Beach children for years to come,” Partington said.