I typically don’t write anything about our U.S. Congressman Todd Platts.
The reason for that is he is my brother-in-law, youngest brother of my wife, Pam Lee, the prothonotary of York County, who I also can’t write about.
I didn’t know when I went into journalism oh so many years ago that my wife’s family would end up making things difficult for my writing career.
But I’m crossing that line here.
On Sept. 6, Todd will appear on the mound at Sovereign Bank Stadium, home of the York Revolution, for a charity event to raise money for the Children’s Home of York and the York County Children’s Advocacy Center.
For $100, you get 10 pitches from the Congressman and I’m betting 10 chances to jack 10 balls into the outfield.
I’ve seen him throw at family get-togethers.
Rag arm. Can’t throw a curve with a Wiffle ball.
I’m going purely for the entertainment value. I’m bringing a megaphone.
He told me he just hopes he doesn’t embarrass himself. I’ve seen him do the Chicken Dance (poorly) in public on a dare. Neither alcohol nor a wedding reception were involved.
I’m not sure what it would take to embarrass him.
But that aside, his choice for the two charities is admirable.
The Children’s Home opened in 1865 to care for Civil War orphans. Today, it is a licensed and accredited human services agency providing assistance and programs to more than 1,000 county residents every year.
A much more recent innovation, the Children’s Advocacy Center opened in 2005 to end a long practice in child-abuse investigations of subjecting young victims to repeated questioning about the details of how they were abused.
The previous practice required child victims to repeat their story at every step in the judicial process — to the police, hospital personnel, child welfare services, prosecutors and ultimately in a room full of strangers at trial.
And at trial, a common defense tactic was to attack those repeated interviews and examinations as “tainting” the child’s recall of events or even implanting false memories through leading questions.
Today, child-abuse victims 3 to 13 years old go through one interview conducted by a trained, professional forensic interviewer at the advocacy center.
A child suspected of being abused also can be medically examined there and connected with any necessary counseling or social services.
So, two valuable and worthy organizations.
But, if you don’t have $100 to put up to stare down the Congressman from the plate, both the children’s home and the advocacy center happily accept smaller donations.
You can donate to the Children’s Home by going to the website www.choyork.org or calling 717-755-1033, ext. 293.
You can donate to the advocacy center on its website at www.yorkcac.org or by sending checks payable to YCCAC to YCCAC, 28 S. Queen St., York, PA, 17401.
See you at the ballpark. I’ll be the guy ragging on the pitcher.