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Sixers Owner Harris Makes $3.5 Million Donation To PAL

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Saying he wanted to give back to the city, 76ers owner Josh Harris has made a multi-million dollar gift to the Philadelphia Police Athletic League.

Harris - who made his fortune as a private equity investor - is giving Philly PAL $3.5 million -- the largest donation in PAL's 68-year history.

"I've been very fortunate myself," Harris said. "So I feel an obligation to try to give back and help make the world a better place. And so I started looking around for how to do that. And it was a natural for me to start in Philadelphia."

Speaking at the Harrowgate PAL Center, Harris said he concluded his donation would do the most good with PAL:

"Police Athletic League just jumped out because they were touching the most kids and they already had a lot of success in terms of literally bringing crime down in the neighborhoods."


PAL Commander Lieutenant Bill Eddis says the money will be used to expand existing recreational activities:

"It's basically going to built around operations -- hiring more personnel, better enhancement of our programs."

The $3.5 million grant is being made through the Harris Family Charitable Foundation.

The second largest gift to PAL was also from a Sixers owner -- Fitz Dixon, who gave PAL a $500,000 trust in 1978.

As for when the 76ers will field a winning team, Harris said he wouldn't put a timetable on that, but that no one was sweating it more than he was.

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