When 9-year-old Quinn Hovey stood behind home plate at Citizens Bank Park ready to catch the ceremonial first pitch, his parents could not help but be overjoyed. Sure, it was a rush for his father, Lonnie, to stand on the field before the Phillies took on the Washington Nationals on July 25 -- just inches from pro ballplayers -- but seeing his son running around on the field was much more of a rush, he said.
Three years ago, Quinn Hovey was struck by a car near the family's home in Wynnewood and suffered a skull fracture, a broken leg and internal injuries that left him in dire need of a blood transfusion.
Enter anonymous donors like Donald Erlichman, who offer blood or platelets to those in need, often just in time to help avert a tragedy.
"Quinn would not be here today without the seven anonymous donors who helped us when we needed it," insisted Lonnie Hovey, who said that, after extensive rehabilitation, Quinn is now healthy.
In an effort to promote donations and awareness, the Phillies and the American Red Cross allowed Erlichman -- a donor -- throw the ceremonial first pitch to Quinn Hovey -- a recipient.
Erlichman has been donating for 25 years now, and often endures procedures that last two or three hours.
The Wynnewood resident -- and longtime board member of Congregation Beth Am Israel in Penn Valley -- emphasized that he did not want recognition for his efforts, and simply aspires to give tzedakah on an anonymous basis.
Referring to Quinn, he said, "I'm not the story; he is the story. His is an incredible story; mine shouldn't be."