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U.S. Mint Unveils Boys Town Commemorative Coins

Copyright Brendan Sullivan / The World-Herald

​​​​​This article is written by Courtney Brummer-Clark / World-Herald staff writer. It was published August 23, 2016 on omaha.com.

Father Edward Flanagan’s mission is now commemorated in currency.

Designs for coins celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Boys Town were unveiled Tuesday.

Rhett Jeppson, deputy director of the United States Mint, joined Boys Town officials and other dignitaries for the ceremony at the Boys Town Music Hall. Students, families and staff filled the auditorium.

“This literally took an act of Congress to get done,” said Dr. Dan Daly, executive vice president and director of youth care at Boys Town.

Last year, Congress authorized the U.S. Mint to produce a series of coins commemorating Boys Town’s 100th anniversary in 2017. The legislation was sponsored by current and past members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation.

U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford attended Tuesday’s ceremony, along with Mayor Jean Stothert and former lawmakers Ben Nelson and Lee Terry. Ashford praised Congress’ bipartisan efforts to allow the coins to become a reality.

“There are a lot of issues that divide Congress, but when you tell them about Boys Town, there is no divide,” he said.

In 2015, a team of artists traveled to Boys Town to gather ideas. Three designs were selected by the mint and will be featured on gold, silver and clad (layered metal) coins.

“Each time a person looks at any one of these unique designs, it will spark an interest in learning about the history of Boys Town, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by this organizations to give comfort and purpose to children in need, and recognizing the significant contributions of Father (Edward) Flanagan,” Jeppson told the audience.

The heads side of the $5 gold coin features a portrait of Flanagan, Boys Town’s founder. Inscriptions include “Boys Town Centennial,” “In God We Trust,” “Fr. Edward Flanagan,” and “Liberty.” The tails side, which says “The Work Will Continue,” depicts an outstretched hand holding a young oak tree growing from an acorn. This design represents “the potential of each child helped by Boys Town to grow into a productive, complete adult,” Jeppson said.

The gold coin was designed by artist Donna Weaver.

The heads side of the silver $1 coin depicts a young girl sitting alone under the branches of an oak tree, looking up. The empty space around the girl is “deliberate and meant to show the child’s sense of loneliness, isolation and helplessness,” Jeppson said. Inscriptions include “When You Help A Child Today ... .”

The tails side depicts an oak tree offering shelter and a sense of belonging to the family holding hands below it, including the girl from the other side. It is inscribed with the words: “... You Write the History of Tomorrow."

The silver coin was designed by artist Emily Damstra.

The heads side of the clad half dollar depicts a boy holding the hand of his younger brother in 1917, ​walking toward Father Flanagan’s Boys Home. The 1940’s-era tower represents what would become Boys Town. Inscriptions include “Saving Children.”

The tails side depicts a present-day Boys Town homes, where children are schooled and nurtured. “Out of these homes come young adults who graduate from high school and the Boys Town program,” Jeppson said. Inscriptions include “Healing Families.”

The clad coin was designed by artist Chris Costello.

The mint will issue no more than 50,000 gold coins, 350,000 silver coins and 300,000 clad half dollar coins.

The price of each coin will include a surcharge: $35 for each gold, $10 for each silver, and $5 for each clad half dollar coin. Revenues first will cover production costs. Some revenue also will go to Boys Town, which will use the money to provide services.

The coins will be available in 2017; the mint will announce the exact date.