Danbury PAL to Honor Five Local Heroes at 4th Annual Spotlight Breakfast

The Danbury Police Activities League (PAL) will celebrate its 4th Annual Spotlight Breakfast on Friday, April 26, honoring five Danbury community leaders who have made significant contributions to the non-profit organization.

By Tribuna Staff

This year’s Spotlight honorees are former Danbury PAL Softball coaches, Fred Carboni and Kurt Schlemmer, who have been valuable assets to the Danbury PAL softball program for over 20 years; former State Representative Dave Arconti, Jr., who has secured recurring annual state grants for youth programming for the PAL since 2019; and legendary Danbury High School Girls’ Coach Jackie DiNardo, along with her late husband, Danbury PD Officer Bob DiNardo, who opened the doors to the Danbury PAL facility in 1997.

Coach Jackie DiNardo has worked in the Danbury School System for 37 years as a Health and Physical Education teacher and has been the program director for Danbury PAL’s Girls In-House Basketball since 1990. The late Bob DiNardo, who served 29 years on the Danbury Police force and 23 years as Danbury High School girls’ varsity basketball assistant coach, remains a legendary figure in the city.

Former State Rep. Dave Arconti, Jr. advocated for state funds for the Danbury PAL via Connecticut’s Judicial Branch Support Services and their Youth Violence Prevention Grant to assist non-profit, community-serving organizations with services directed at local youth in the area. Arconti worked not only with PAL leadership as a state legislator but also for PAL under former Danbury PAL Executive Director and Hall of Famer Bob Guerrera.

Fred Carboni was a dedicated PAL Coach for basketball and softball, from 2003 through 2015. He served in various positions, from equipment manager to vice president of the Softball Board of Directors. Coach Carboni also left a legacy; his daughter Erica currently serves on the 2024 Board of Directors.

Kurt Schlemmer spent 16 years as a PAL Coach from 1999 through 2015. Coach Schlemmer led girls in basketball and softball and ran the PAL concession stand for several winters.

Danbury PAL Executive Director, Vince Jackson credits all the 2024 honorees with being the foundation of the Danbury PAL. “Without volunteer coaches like our honorees, the PAL wouldn’t be in the great shape that it’s in.”

Board of Directors President Chad Bock couldn’t agree more. “We are proud to honor these five individuals who have played a crucial role in the development of the Police Activities League for the Danbury Community. They have volunteered their time and talent for numerous years, not only to create and expand youth program offerings but also to bring the idea of the building into reality, which allows us to provide many opportunities to the greater Danbury area."

The Danbury PAL Spotlight Breakfast Honorees began in 2019 to “Spotlight” local heroes who have worked endlessly to make the organization what it is today. Awardees are not only recognized during the annual breakfast but they are also inducted into the Danbury PAL Hall of Fame.

For more information, please contact the Danbury PAL at (203)778-4725 or vjackson@danburypal.org.