Northville resident Scott Seabolt has always had a passion for youth sports, and now he's working with the non-profit organization Detroit PAL to help children in Detroit get the opportunity to play.
PAL was started in 1971, and in 2006 it merged with Think Detroit, a similar organization that was started in the 90s. Now the organization is called Detroit PAL and serves more than 10,000 kids each year.
Detroit PAL offers football, cheerleading, soccer, baseball, softball, and track and field. The organization trains and certifies 1,500 volunteer coaches and mentors each year to run the teams.
Seabolt was elected to the board of the organization in 2007, and this year he was named chairman.
"We're providing an outlet for kids that's positive and helps them learn important lessons about leadership, overcoming adversity—all things that are part of athletics," he said.
Detroit PAL is headquartered near Wayne State University, but games are played on fields across Detroit.
Using fundraising, the organization aims to offset much of the costs of running the leagues so that children can afford to play at a deeply discounted price.
Seabolt grew up playing soccer, baseball and wrestling and joined the organization at the encouragement of a friend.
Seabolt said he was able to use some of his knowledge and experience form working as a partner at Foley and Lardner to help run the organization, including recruiting new board members.
He said he is happy the organization helps keep kids out of trouble and give them something productive to do.
"Some of these children are at-risk children who wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity, and they deserve it," he said.
Today, Seabolt said his main goal is to find ways to reach more kids and maintain the organization's excellence.
"The time is right for that, and the community has a thirst for what we do," he said.
Seabolt said community members from all over Metro Detroit can help by making a monetary donation, donating gently used equipment, helping with field maintenance, sponsoring a team or a league, or by becoming a volunteer coach or mentor.
"It's the best-run charity in the city," Seabolt said. "I'm biased, of course, but it's one of the most worthwhile."
To get involved, visit thinkdetroitpal.org.