Youth living in southwest Fresno will now have access to a new boxing ring, new fitness equipment, meditation room and mentoring programs, thanks to a recent $40,000 Kaiser Permanente Fresno grant.
The grant will help the Fresno Police Activities League provide fitness activities and mentoring programs at the Cecil C. Hinton Community Center in southwest Fresno.
“Kaiser sees the value of keeping our kids healthy,” said Fresno city council vice president Miguel Arias.
The remodeled recreation room at the Cecil C. Hinton Center includes a new state-of-the-art boxing ring, elliptical machines, treadmills and free weights. A yoga and meditation room are planned to open soon, according to Kaiser Permanente Fresno.
“This room is great. Now we got to work on making sure the rest of the building looks great because kids in this city deserve quality facilities not just in the educational world but in the community world.”
“It’s our work to make sure of that. We can’t simply say we are one city when the city doesn’t look the same across the board,” said Arias who represents District 3. “This is just one little paddle in a big pond that we have to ensure continues across the whole city.”
“There’s people that would be making their case for how to unite and how to take the city of Fresno to the next level and it’s going to be our job these things are not simply talking points but become a reality for the whole building.”
“We are pleased to partner with the Police Activity League, Fresno Police, the city of Fresno to make this happen,” said Kaiser Permanente Fresno senior vice president Wade Nogy, adding that their mission is to help lift the health of the community they serve and hopes that the youth using the facility will learn healthy habits, discipline and strategies for healthy living that they can carry into adulthood.
According to Kaiser Permanente Fresno, the $40,000 grant to the Fresno Police Activities League means youth in the surrounding neighborhoods will have access to PAL’s programming and activities at the Hinton Community Center for the first time.
Those youth had been traveling to the Romain Neighborhood Center, but extensive damage from a New Year’s Day fire put most of those activities on hold.
“The reason we are standing here today is because of partnerships, and that is what it takes to make the city successful,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer during the unveiling ceremony of the new recreation room during a media event on May 21. “A partnership between Kaiser and we want to thank them for the $40,000-dollar donation for this.”
Fresno Mayor Lee Brand, Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp and other elected officials as well as Kaiser Permanente Fresno officials attended the event.
Captain Mark Salazar said PAL’s are know for their youth engagement.
He said they are going to continue to provide mentorships and guidance throughout southwest Fresno.
“For us to be here is pretty remarkable,” Salazar said, adding they have more plans for the ring. “We are going to be doing things differently here in this gym.”