WEST CHESTER - Coatesville Police Detective Gerald Pawling doesn't like to talk about what he does in his free time.
doesn't want to talk about it, brag about it, nor take sole credit for it.
It's uncomfortable for him to be singled out particularly because the accomplishment is part of a team effort, he
It's not about accolades, it's about doing the right thing, he
When the Crime Victims' Center of Chester County honored Pawling Thursday for his tireless work with children in Coatesville through the Police Athletic League, which he co-founded, he accepted the award on behalf of all of the other volunteers who work with him to ensure there are safe, fun activities for children in Coatesville.
"There are a lot of people in this city that do a lot of great things for kids - I'm not the only one.
It's an award that's for the whole community - for everybody who's done work with PAL and other youth programs," Pawling said before the ceremony.
"I couldn't do it all by myself.
It's not just me - without their help I couldn't do what I do."
is the 2011 recipient of the annual John J. Crane Allied Professional Award for Excellence in Service to Victims.
The award was formally presented to Pawling Thursday night during the Crime Victims'
Center's annual holiday open house event.
Pawling, current Police Chief Julius Canale and former Police Chief Dominick Bellizzie worked together in 2000 to start PAL for Coatesville.
This year, roughly 300 kids played football and roughly 300 kids also played baseball, Pawling
also offers mentoring programs and organizes events like fishing trips, CSI camp and Shop with a Cop, which allows up to 100 children go on a holiday shopping spree each December.
"You're giving a kid a different outlook on life - one that's not negative, but shows them that there are people out there who are there to help," Pawling
The program is also in the midst of opening a permanent site.
headquarters will be at 17 N. Church Street, Coatesville.
has been instrumental in renovating and painting the facility that is expected to be open for programs in the near future.
Pawling is a graduate of Coatesville Area High School and joined the Coatesville Police Department in 1995.
He was promoted to detective in 2001.
Anyone interested in making a donation to Coatesville PAL can send the donation to: Attention: Gerald Pawling
, Coatesville Police Department
, 1 City Hall Place, Coatesville, PA 19320.