2014 marks a special year for Pennsylvania Family Institute. With the support of families across Pennsylvania, we have been able to make a difference since 1989 — 25 years of protecting life, marriage and religious freedom; of protecting the family so we can preserve the future.
As we celebrate our 25th year of service, we wanted to highlight the 25 top moments for us as an organization:
1. October 1988 – Don Eberly calls Michael Geer to discuss the formation of state-based family policy councils across the country and about plans for Pennsylvania.
2. September 5, 1989 – Opened for business from a one-room office in Harrisburg.
3. September 12, 1989 – Seeing our first newspaper quote (Wall Street Journal).
4. December 27, 1989 – Reading in the Pittsburgh Press a column about the establishment of our organization, which concluded, “PFI should provide some balance to today’s lop-sided scene. Perhaps the traditional family stands a chance for survival.”
5. Fall 1991 – Our first Voter’s Guide was published with 50,000 being distributed. We’ve since appreciated working with groups like the Culture Impact Ministry team in Pittsburgh led by Jim Roberts or the Generation Joshua Club of Somerset County in follow-up with candidate questionnaire responses and for distribution of over four million copies of our church-friendly, non-partisan Voter’s Guide.
6. 1992 – 1995 – Leading two training efforts: Community Impact Seminars to help citizens strengthen families and “Learn to Discern” parental conferences on strategies for teaching children in appreciating righteousness and wholesome entertainment alternatives.
7. February 14, 1996 – Issued our groundbreaking report “Breaking Up Is Easy to Do” on the impact of no-fault divorce; which received national attention from news outlets like the LA Times and ABC World News.
8. May 8, 1996 – Standing beside former State Representative Allan Egolf (R-Perry) in his introducing of the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act; which later that year became law.
9. 1998 – Getting the autograph of former Congressman and NFL star Steve Largent on a football before he addressed attendees of our Friends of the Family banquet. Since that banquet, it has been our tradition to have our guest speaker sign that football; which now holds the signatures of guests like Dr. James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Eric Metaxas and most recently Dr. Ben Carson.
10. January 1999 – Engaging with the Lancaster County community in preventing Planned Parenthood from coming into the County. Read Michael Geer’s letter to the editor about remembering Former Lancaster County Commissioner Jim Huber: thecapitolwatch.com/2010/08/remembering-jim-huber
11. Summers since 2000 – At the conclusion of each of our City on the Hill youth leadership conferences, hearing many students repeat the phrase “life-changing.” We are thrilled to have 500 graduates of City on the Hill and see many of these young leaders making a difference in the world around them. For more about City on the Hill, visit: pafamily.org/coth.php
12. 2000 – Being named among the Top 3 Coalition Builders in the Patriot-News survey of more than 200 lobbyists, lawmakers and news media.
13. May 7, 2001 – Seeing the approval of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) which has provided scholarships to parents choosing private schooling for their family. For more about our scholarship and how businesses can receive up to a 90% tax credit per year on their contribution: myfamilychoice.org
14. November 15, 2001 – Receiving a letter from The White House which wrote in part, “I commend the work of the Pennsylvania Family Institute and its efforts to bolster the principles of family, faith and freedom in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I encourage every Pennsylvanian and, indeed, every American to become more active here on the home front in making our families stronger and in making our society more family-friendly. May God bless the work of the Pennsylvania Family Institute. And may God continue to bless America.” Sincerely, President George W. Bush
15. November 2, 2002 – Hearing from Lisa Beamer – widow of 9/11 Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer – in her keynote address to guests at our Friends of the Family banquet in Lancaster. “In light of the circumstances that Todd faced on Sept. 11th, his peace and his thoughts and his hope were only attributable to his choices throughout his life of walking hand-in-hand with the God of the Universe.”
16. Former non-commissioned officer with Easy Company Don Malarkey (highlighted in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers) provided us with a copy of the one-page newspaper given out to troops on Dec. 24, 1944 with the “N-U-T-S-!” response to the German request of surrender of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. Accompanying this was a note: “Thanks for fighting for the future of families in America. Don Malarkey”
17. Being highlighted in a memo by a strip club owner to other owners warning them about us, saying, “This organization will be the downfall of all adult clubs in Pennsylvania.” See the press release from “The King’s Men” about the victory for Milford Township we were involved in: http://www.thekingsmen.us/CoyotesShutDown
18. March 28, 2009 – Our first of sixteen The Truth Project training events. One attendee who has been Christian her whole life told us this was the best thing she’d ever done.
19. August 31, 2010 – In standing with David Hockenberry, a mentally retarded man who faced the potential of having life-preserving medical treatment refused by his guardians, we received a court ruling affirming that the disabled deserve medical treatment. More: independencelaw.org/2012/07/good-news-for-life-and-the-disabled
20. July 20, 2011 – We received an injunction on behalf of a 14-year-old York County girl whose mother and stepfather had scheduled an abortion for her the next day against her wishes. Four months later, this girl gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and the family reconciled.
21. December 14, 2011 – After nearly a year of prayer and grassroots efforts in response to the uncovering of the nightmare brought to women and children by Kermit Gosnell, we watched the final vote in the House to pass SB 732 – which will help to ensure another abortion clinic like Gosnell’s will never go uninspected or happen again. Read the article “Shocked in Action” for the full story: www.citizenlink.com/2013/04/16/shocked-into-action
22. April 2, 2012 – Winning a case for Rev. Jim Howell and Northmoreland Baptist Church in Wyoming County protecting their church building from being taxed. Read more: independencelaw.org/2012/07/law-center-wins-fight-against-church-taxation
23. July 7, 2012 – Appearing on Fox & Friends for representing a Pennsylvania restaurant being sued for offering a 10% discount on Sunday to patrons bringing in a church bulletin. In November that year, the PA Humans Relations Commission ruled to allow the restaurant to continue offering the church bulletin discount. Watch the video here: video.foxnews.com/v/1725142120001/discriminatory-discount-for-churchgoers
24. June 17, 2013 – Standing beside Governor Tom Corbett in the signing of HB 818 – a bill prohibiting our tax dollars from subsidizing abortion in the new Obamacare health insurance exchanges. More: thecapitolwatch.com/2013/06/gov-corbett-signs-pro-life-law
25. November 26, 2013 – We learned that the U.S. Supreme Court was granting review in Conestoga v. Sebelius, a case we filed to protect the religious liberty of businesses to refuse to fund contraception that could result in an abortion. More: http://thecapitolwatch.com/2013/11/supreme-court-agrees-to-hear-religious-liberty-case-of-lancaster-co-business/
To help us make more top moments in the next 25 years, we would greatly appreciate your financial support. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.pafamily.org/donate.php.