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Accordion music filled the majestically-lit courtyard as the Hollywood Police Activities League celebrated its 11th Annual Awards Benefit Gala on Wednesday, October 8th, at the Taglyan Cultural Complex. This year the theme of the event, which is the PAL’s largest fundraiser, was Oktoberfest; fittingly, the evening featured a slew of German-inspired entertainment, food, and costumes, from German folk dancers to oversized pretzels to an indoor beer garden pouring some of California’s hottest German and Belgian-style craft beers. Guests, many of whom were dressed in frocks and lederhosen, raised money by bidding on Silent and Live Auction items – ranging from box seats at the Hollywood Bowl to dinner with Hollywood’s Captain Peter Zarcone in Hannibal Lector’s jail cell at the Hollywood Museum -throughout the evening. A ceremony also honored the PAL’s 2014 Community Leadership Award recipients Maureen Schultz of Capitol Records and Brian Stewart of The AmGraph Group.

“If a young person respects a police officer on the ball field or in the gym, he or she will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to the young person, the police officer, the neighborhood, and the business community.”

The mission of the Police Activities League, which has existed since 1914 and is funded entirely by contributions from local individuals, companies, grants, and fundraisers like the one held on October 8th, is to keep young people out of gangs and away from drugs by encouraging healthy and trusting relationships between kids and police officers. All proceeds raised at the Taglyan Complex Gala went to providing community enrichment activities – such as youth soccer tournaments, recycling drives, and the popular Jr. Police Academy – where young people from ages 6-17 can interact with police officers and develop positive attitudes about law enforcement. According to the PAL’s website, “studies have shown that if a young person respects a police officer on the ball field or in the gym, he or she will likely come to respect the laws that police officers enforce. Such respect is beneficial to the young person, the police officer, the neighborhood, and the business community.”

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