March 23, 2015
Brad Willingham, right, secretary of the Stone Gate Home Owners Association, presents a $1,000 check to sponsor Chris Kobal and the Peer Assistance & Leadership (PALs) program at Cy-Fair High School.
March 21, 2015—Representatives from the Stone Gate Home Owners Association (HOA) Adopt a School program donated $3,000 to three high school Peer Assistance & Leadership (PALs) programs this week.
Brad Willingham and Robert Partin, members of the HOA board of directors, presented $1,000 each to the PALs at Cy-Fair, Cypress Falls and Cypress Springs high schools—campuses that serve their Stone Gate, Canyon Lakes at Stone Gate and Canyon Lakes West communities. The HOA also oversees the Canyon Lakes Village and Bakers Village communities.
The PALs program empowers students to give back to their schools and communities through mentoring and service projects.
“I have had three children in Cy-Fair who were part of the PALs program. I know what they do and how it impacts and helps the at-risk kids they mentor,” said Willingham, HOA board secretary. For my kids it’s been a good learning, maturing and leadership opportunity. My two oldest kids still keep up with their PALs they had before.”
The 84 PALs at Cy-Fair, 70 at Cypress Falls and 92 at Cypress Springs will use the funds to offset expenses throughout the school year.
“It’s going to cover all the extra costs we have. We supply the little PALs a t-shirt, we can restock all our supplies and use it for community service outreach funds,” said Chris Kobal, a 15-year PALs sponsor at Cy-Fair. “A lot of things you hear about teens in the press are negative, but you don’t hear about one of my guys mentoring an at-risk child. A lot of my high school PALs were mentored when they were in elementary school. It’s impacted them where a lot of them want to give back.”
Cypress Falls co-sponsor Sarah Smith said the funds would help cover transportation costs as students are shuttled to the “PALees” they mentor at Birkes, Fiest, Horne and Owens elementary schools and Truitt Middle School.
“The kids already spend a lot of time fund raising while balancing academics and other extracurricular activities,” Smith said. “It’s very difficult, so it blows us away that some funding is going to be taken care of so we can dedicate more time to the community.”
Seventh-year Cypress Springs PALs sponsor Mabry Allen also expressed appreciation for the donation.
“We like to spoil our kids because they don’t come from privilege. We will absolutely use it to help others in need,” he said.
Robert Partin, HOA vice president, visited Cypress Falls on March 20 to pass along advice to the students from his father.
“He said to always leave something on the table, because it comes back to you in life tenfold,” Partin said. “That kind of sums up the whole PALs program. If we can support that, we’re happy to do it.”
Robert Partin, board vice president representing the Canyon Lakes HOA, presents a $1,000 check to co-sponsor Sarah Smith and the Cypress Falls High School PALs program.
Brad Willingham, representing Canyon Lakes West HOA, presents sponsor Mabry Allen and the Cypress Springs High School PALs program with a check worth $1,000.