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Willard PAL Wins Play Positive Grant

Willard PAL

The Willard Police Athletic League, or PAL, has won the Liberty Mutual Play Positive grant for its commitment to sportsmanship. Started in 2009, the organization works to help Ozarks youth learn self-discipline and control through boxing and jujitsu.

It is one of only 10 programs in the country to receive a grant, totaling $2,500.

Tom McClain, police chief in Willard and PAL coach, says that the program has a dual approach to benefiting local youths.

“We teach the fundamentals of boxing and the fundamentals of jujitsu, but it’s not the just the physical workout that the kids get that is a benefit to them.  They also receive some educational instruction in four areas that we call “pillars,” and those are responsibility, discernment, honor and self-control.” 

The Play Positive Competition, set up through Liberty Mutual Insurance, is meant to highlight such organizations and encourage local supporters to take the Play Positive pledge of good sportsmanship.

Besides the obvious advantage of the grant money, McClain says that the Play Positive competition helped the group in another big way.

“We were out soliciting support for our program in ways that we’ve never done before, I mean reaching out multiple times to masses of people through the media. It put us in a position where people were talking about Willard PAL much more than they would normally, and I think that all the exposure will be helpful to our program as well.”

The league plans to spend the money on new canvas for the boxing ring and new boxing gloves and head gear for their recruits. McClain says that the new equipment will give a face-lift to the gym and that money may be spent to advertise the improved workout space.

For more information about Willard PAL, visit their website here.


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