The historical timeline of MPAL is tied closely to its facility, located in the heart of the city of Manchester at 409 Beech Street. To MPAL, it was essential to make it accessible to all city youth, no matter where they live.
MPAL’s headquarters is called the Officer Michael Briggs Community Center. Officer Briggs was a dedicated Manchester police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 2006. His badge number was retired by the Manchester Police Department. Members First Credit Union has a special tie to Office Briggs as well—each year we award the $2,500 Officer Michael L. Briggs Memorial Scholarship to a local student in honor of his heroic dedication.
The Manchester Police Athletic League launched in 1992. In 2000, MPAL was able to purchase a building for the organization. It took several years of renovating, but in 2004, it was open to the public.
The Officer Michael Briggs Community Center serves as the location for MPAL activities and programs. It is also used as a venue for community events, such as police department ceremonies, and has even served as an emergency shelter.
In 2015, Building on Hope, a volunteer community organization that works with architects, builders, and designers to improve the facilities of nonprofits, selected MPAL as its 2016 renovation project. Building on Hope transformed MPAL to offer better facilities for all participants.
On the basement level, the weight room and boxing gym are located. The main level includes a large open mat area, a commercial kitchen, a game room, and a parents’ room. Members First is proud to sponsor the MPAL game room.
By 2020, MPAL was serving 600 young people annually through their free programs. The COVID-19 pandemic caused numbers to dip, but enrollment is steadily increasing. In the month of March alone, they enrolled 47 new MPAL kids. Just recently new programs such as baton twirling, “Kids Play/Gym,” and Pokemon PALs were implemented after parents requested more programs for younger kids.
Learn more about MPAL and how you can support their investment in the youth of Manchester.