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Tournament aims to help child center

The Child Advocacy Center in McComb wants to take you out to theballgame. Actually, several of them.

A baseball tournament is in the works for Memorial Day weekend,said District Attorney Dee Bates, with proceeds going to the ChildAdvocacy Center, which serves the southwest part of thestate.

“This will help with the financial needs of the center, becausethat’s a need they always have is to support themselves,” he said,adding that the center provides free services to child victims, aswell as counseling.

The tournament will include brackets for coach pitch for ages 8 andunder, and fast pitch for 10 and under and 12 and under. Bates saidthere will also be tournament teams for ages 16 and under, and theyare expected to come from all over the area.

“We’re trying to get teams from all the surrounding areas,” hesaid. “We’ve gotten calls from Louisiana, and from Wesson, FranklinCounty, Walthall County and I’ve spoken to the commissioner inLawrence County.”

The tournament will take place Memorial Day weekend at the HanselKing Sports Complex in Brookhaven, Bates said, and there is stillroom for teams who want in on the action.

“The actual days we play will be dictated by how many teams wehave,” he said. “We’ll have a late cutoff before we make thebrackets out.”

The Child Advocacy Center is an important cause, Bates said, andorganizers are hoping that teams will want to throw their hats inthe ring not only for the competition and the fun, but also for thecause.

“A lot of children in this area go to counseling there, which Ithink is wonderful because in years past it’s really been a way tohelp children through,” Bates said. “I always felt that after atrial the child just kind of was gone … I think the counseling atthe Child Advocacy Center does a good job of following up on thetrial even after all that. It’s difficult for a child when they’reintroduced to adult concepts.”

Bates said the center not only needs people to take part in thebaseball tournament, but also just to get involved ingeneral.

“That’s the main reason we’re doing this, we’d like some morecommunity involvement,” he said. “We need board members who arewilling to work hard for no money, and people from the communitywho can donate their time.”

Bates said anyone interested in the tournament or in volunteeringwith the Child Advocacy Center can call director Lori Tate at601-684-4009.