BCPAL receives second SSEP grant

Published 7:19 pm Monday, October 16, 2017

Beaufort County Police Activities League is now a two-time recipient of a Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant.

Members of BCPAL were presented with a $179,000 Student Science Enrichment Program grant at the sixth-annual Beaufort County Police Activities League Dinner Dance Saturday night, making it the second time the organization has received the grant. The nonprofit received the same grant in 2016.

“That was a highlight of the night,” BCPAL President AL Powell said. “It’s very prestigious.”

Powell said the funds will go directly toward upcoming programs. Alfred Mays, project account manager at the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, made the trip to the Washington Yacht & Country Club to present the check Saturday to the organization. Powell said it was a treat to have Mays present the check in person.

“He felt it was important to come down and make the presentation. Our program is very unique. They’ve acknowledged it with this,” Powell said.

The organization also honored many different humanitarians, including members of Vidant East Care’s helicopter crew and Bunyon Volunteer Fire Department. Powell said it was the first time the nonprofit honored a medevac helicopter crew.

“They found out that some of the folks in the audience were actually beneficiaries of their work. Several people came up and said, ‘You saved my family member’s life,’” Powell said.

Saturday night was the first time Powell decided to integrate the children of BCPAL into the event. This year, multiple children involved in the program stood in front of the crowd and shared what they wanted to do when they grow up.

“We were very gratified to watch the kids do what they did. They served as chaperones; they helped seat the guests. It was heartwarming. The parents were beaming, just looking in the parents’ eyes while they watch their kids made it worth it,” Powell said.

Powell said the Dinner Dance is designed to shine a light on BCPAL’s unique mission. He displayed a PowerPoint to guests outlining the vision of the organization, and specifically of the Aviation, Technology and Fitness Center that is currently under construction. Powell said plans for the center are still moving forward, and with about 85 percent complete and $180,000 raised, BCPAL is just $28,000 short.
“I hope that was the takeaway. They could see something real. We still need help. But it’s not a pipedream. A dollar we get, a dollar goes into the building,” Powell said.