In 1970, Santa Clara Police Chief Frank Sapena saw a significant need in for students to learn that the police do more than just police; that it was possible to develop positive memories and interactions with the Santa Clara Police Department.
Sapena realized the positive outcomes of a program that combined students, law enforcement personnel and volunteers in the community when he formed Santa Clara Police Activities League (PAL).
On the night of Friday, March 6, the Santa Clara PAL Gal’s softball league gathered at the Central Park baseball field to celebrate Sapena’s lasting legacy and to recognize longtime volunteer, Rudy Vera.
“Rudy Vera has dedicated 50 years of his life to this program and the youth of this city. Rudy has been involved with PAL as a coach, umpire and current softball board member,” said Santa Clara PAL Executive Director, Officer Wali Aminyar. “His late wife, Rita, spent 28 years as the PAL secretary. Chief Sapena and Rudy and Rita Vera were individuals who saw the need and responded. And for that, we should all consider them our heroes. How will the decisions you make today affect the outcomes of tomorrow? Look around — will you be remembered as the next Chief Sapena or Rudy Vera? I challenge each and every one of you to be the change you want to see in the world.”
For more information on Santa Clara PAL, visit their website, santaclarapal.org.