Unsung Hero #55

Today is July 4.

Westport jumps the gun a bit on our fireworks celebration. We held ours Monday night. It’s the town’s biggest and best party of the year.

The cost is just $35 — and that’s only if you want to park at Compo. (Plus, you can pack as many people as you want into your vehicle.)

Otherwise you can park at Longshore, the office complex on Greens Farms Road or a friend’s house, and walk to the beach.

Still, people complain.

The $35 — a price that has remained the same for years — helps fund Westport PAL. They’ve sponsored the event for years. Recently, Melissa & Doug have helped out, ensuring that more of the money goes back to PAL programs.

Under the direction of Westport Police officer Ned Batlin — and a small group of volunteers — PAL does plenty. For example, they provide:

  • Youth sports teams and clinics. Each year, over 2,000 youngsters participate in 20 or so programs, including football, wrestling, cheerleading and much more.
  • The ice rink at Longshore (one of Westport’s favorite winter activities, for people of all ages and abilities).

The PAL Longshore Ice Rink.

  • Equipment and other needs for a variety of Staples High School teams.
  • College scholarships (more than 300 graduates so far, and counting).
  • Support for Toys for Tots, DARE and other programs.

That’s just the tangible stuff. By partnering with so many efforts, Westport PAL shows kids that the police really are their pals.

Westport PAL is our July 4th Unsung Heroes.

And every other day too.

Officer Ned Batlin, Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Deputy Chief Sam Arciola all help Westport PAL go.

9 responses to “Unsung Hero #55

  1. Arline P Gertzoff

    The Westport Police and PAlare my heroes 24/7 even the few times I did not agree with them..Though I did not go to the fireworks I always send them a contributionTo complain about them/PAL is nonsense.
    I proudly display my late brother’s commendation from the PAL
    We should be thankful to themTheir job is not always easy and they do good things for all and are willing to listen
    Arline P Gertzoff
    RTM
    District 3

  2. Thanks Dan for writing this. I guess many folks don’t understand. And for you all that enjoyed the evening and didn’t buy a ticket, please consider a contribution.

  3. Tom Feeley Sr

    Dave Eason was a fabulous Police Officer and we thank him and all the others for their service👍🏼🇺🇸

  4. I think the pal under Sam and Ned to a lot great stuff for westport and football We should help pal as much as we can we will miss carmine roda what a great coach and Sam andNed we’re great for
    Thanks foti for supporting them

  5. Three great guys and many great programs. The PAL scholarships are in addition to Staples Tuition grants. The wrestling program is a terrific way to learn a really tough sport and is making a difference in kids lives. PAL donated new wrestling mats to Staples. Thanks PAL!

  6. Joan Tricarico

    Thank you PAL!!

  7. Mary Cookman Schmerker Staples '58

    Perfect choice. PAL is part of what makes Westport so special. Thanks to all who make it happen.

  8. Alan Phillips

    We buy a parking pass each year for fireworks even though we park at a friends house near the beach. We thank you PAL.

  9. 3 great men! Pretty cool how much they do in this town! For the athletes come to the PBA and Catch A Lift 2nd annual Run til Valhalla Sherwood Island Sep 23

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