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Kara Neuverth
Media Relations Director
402-498-1305
Kara.Neuverth@boystown.org

Lauren Laferla
Media Relations Specialist
402-498-1273
Lauren.Laferla@boystown.org
Twitter: @LaurenLaferla

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News From Across the United States

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Its-very-nostalgic-it-really-is-hundreds-ride-back-in-time'It’s very nostalgic, it really is': Hundreds ride back in time on Union Pacific passenger train in Omaha-Columbus round tripNebraska
Union Pacific train ride
Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017

This article is written by Marcella Mercer, World-Herald staff writer. It was posted on omaha.com on August 14, 2017.

Sunday morning, a Union Pacific passenger train surged forth out of Omaha once again.

As the commemorative train pulled away from the Durham Museum, Bennington retiree F. J. Richter looked out the dome windows on the second level of the train car and broke into a grin.

"I've really been looking forward to this," he said.

"It's like you're a kid, right?" his wife, Sue, replied.

The black tops of a coal train streaked by in the opposite set of windows, a reminder that most trains in the U.S. these days are hauling cargo, not people.

But this weekend, nearly 400 people hopped on the train as part of a fundraising event for the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs. The ride from Omaha to Columbus and back traced the start of the transcontinental railroad route.

Union Pacific discontinued passenger service in 1971, but it occasionally conducts rides on its historical heritage fleet to benefit the museum. The last such ride was in 2010. The trips have been the museum's largest fundraising effort, a spokeswoman said.

The rides draw train enthusiasts from across the country, former Union Pacific employees and people looking to relive memories of the heyday of rail travel.

Nearly 400 people were aboard a dozen Union Pacific heritage passenger cars as the Union Pacific Railroad Museum provided a historic round trip excursion via railroad from Omaha to Columbus, Neb., on Sunday, August 13, 2017.

The family of Iowan Ruth Roberts Heller marked her 100th birthday, which she celebrates Wednesday, by making the trip Sunday.

"She's only wanted to ride a streamliner for almost 85 years," her son, Rollie Roberts said. "We thought it was about time."

Her last train ride was in 1936, as she headed off from her hometown of Dunlap, Iowa, to Iowa State University in Ames. Sunday, she enjoyed the scenery streaming by the tracks.

"It's just lovely to see the country, all the tall corn, especially because we're farm people," she said.

Nigel Eacock of Cheltenham, England, said the idea of seeing more of the Midwest attracted him to this train ride as well. A retired government worker, he spent about 200 days last year taking train rides around the world.

"I've actually found that small town America is much, much more interesting than the large cities," he said.

A few cars up, a car was filled with students from Boys Town who had received tickets on behalf of the museum. For many in the group, it was their first train ride.

"It's pretty exciting," said 18-year-old Tanner Sayavong.

"It's slow," remarked 15-year-old Josh Reed from two seats away.

A hiccup came as the train stopped for about an hour after the freight train in front of it halted to handle a breakdown.

But the delay didn't dampen the enthusiasm of many of the riders.

Back in the 1950s, Richard Ahrenholtz recalls thinking he should take the train while he could, and he rode by rail several times from his San Francisco naval base to Omaha, on his way home to Iowa.

"That was the way to travel," he said. "It's very nostalgic, it really is."

bt-s-florida-employees-monkey-aroundBoys Town South Florida Employees Monkey Around at Zoo EventSouth Florida
Tuesday, Aug 15, 2017

Boys Town South Florida recently held a fun fill day at the Palm Beach Zoo in celebration of Boys Town's 100th anniversary. Over 130 employees and their families attended the all-day employee appreciation event held on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Each year, Boys Town South Florida hosts an employee and family picnic, but in honor of Boys Town's 100th anniversary, they opted for a larger employee appreciation event. All those in attendance were provided back packs filled with water bottles, mini fans and t-shirts to wear at the event.

"The goodie bags were a great addition to this day, especially with the Florida heat," LaToya Davenport Director of Program Support Services said. "The mini fans were used throughout the day."

Employees and their families were able to explore and enjoy the zoo all day. Davenport coordinated with the Palm Beach Zoo to set up a private area complete with a buffet for those in attendance to enjoy lunch. Staff and their families were also able to enjoy an up close and personal private animal experience where they were able to take photos with the animals and even touch some of them.

"This event took some time to plan, but the end result was worth it!" LaToya said. "Staff loved the event and their families had a ball!"

"It was nice to meet our employees' family members. Their support and sacrifice helps our staff help others," said Amy Simpson, Boys Town South Florida Executive Director. "It was also fun watching all of the kids play in fountains after the Zoo day had ended!"

First-Rising-Leader-ProgramEmployee Graduates from Nonprofits First Rising Leader ProgramSouth Florida
Rising Leaders
Friday, Aug 4, 2017

​​​​​​Pam Heck, Boys Town South Florida In-Home Family Services (IHFS) and Common Sense Parenting Director, recently graduated from the Nonprofits First Rising Leader program. The Nonprofits First Rising Leader program is a 6 month long course for leaders in the nonprofit sector looking to improve on a variety of different skills.

Potential candidates go through an application process, interview and must be recommended by their supervisors in order to participate in the program.

"I decided to participate in the program because I'm always eager and willing to learn more," Pam said. "I also saw this as an opportunity to develop a network of peers within Palm Beach County."

Through classroom work, a weekend retreat, ropes course, experiential work and a service project, those in the program focus on public speaking, strategic planning and project management and many other important skills. The ropes course is designed to promote team building and help individuals learn to communicate as a team. The weekend retreat is centered on improving public speaking skills and helping leaders become more comfortable talking in front of others. The course also includes an assessment and additional instruction to help leaders implement what they learned during the course into the workplace.

"I learned the importance of networking and having key relationships within the community as a part of helping the strategic plan of building programs," Heck said.

As a result of the valuable information taught during the Nonprofits First Rising Leader program and the relationships Pam developed within the community, she was able to apply what she learned and partner with Lord's Place, a local transitional housing for families. This organization integrated Common Sense Parenting® classes into their program for residents due to the benefits of the classes.

"This has been instrumental in developing our program and has also helped to build the program at the Lord's Place," Pam said.

Participants dedicate a majority of their time throughout the course to a group service learning project. Pam's team worked for Ike Powell, the head of My Brother's Keeper, to create a new video. This organization is a coalition of public and private entities that work together to improve the life outcome for boys and young men of color through education, employment opportunities and many other initiatives.

Despite having no prior experience with video production, Pam's group utilized connections within the community to develop a new video at no cost to the organization.

"PBCTV Channel 20 was able to do the video shoot and editing for My Brother's Keeper," Pam said. "This was a great way to utilize thinking outside of the box and to know who to ask when you need help."

Heck feels the program has helped her immensely with her current role. "Completing the program is a huge accomplishment," Pam said. "The network of colleagues that I developed in the class will be a great resource in the future as I grow and develop the programs." 

bt-national-hotline-partnership-impacts-omahaBoys Town National Hotline Partnership Impacts Omaha CommunityNebraska
Hotline
Thursday, Aug 3, 2017

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This national network contains over 160 local crisis centers, including the Boys Town National Hotline®. To spread the word about the services the Hotline provides, Boys Town looked to local organizations that are dedicated to improving the community and supporting those in crises.

The Boys Town National Hotline reached out to Omaha Public Schools (OPS) Counselor's Office to brainstorm ways that the Hotline can get its word out about its services. While this conversation was occurring, Bob Giddings, Hotline Development Officer, was working with Nebraska Medicine about how they could help the Hotline and impact the Omaha community. This collaboration resulted in Nebraska Medicine funding Hotline materials for OPS students, a community that could greatly benefit from the support of the Hotline.

Boys Town National Hotline materials were distributed to every Omaha Public School. These materials included banners, posters, pencils, Hotline wallet cards and Hotline flyers. In addition, Boys Town also provided a series of four free parenting workshops that were provided to OPS parents. These two initiatives, communicating information about the Hotline and the free parenting classes, came together to yield successful results.

Communication between the Omaha Metropolitan community and the Hotline increased substantially through this partnership, with emails to the Hotline up 208 percent, online chats up 200 percent and texting up 84 percent. In addition, the overall contacts to the Hotline were up 68 percent from January to June in 2016.

Being able to partner with one of the largest hospital organizations in Omaha and the largest school district in Omaha was instrumental for Boys Town's development and outreach. It allowed the Hotline to reach thousands of children and teens in the community that wouldn't have reached out before. It not only aided the community, but it also built a relationship between all three organizations.

"It was so rewarding knowing that communication about Hotline services was going to reach over 80,000 students in our own community," said Ginny Gohr, Director of the National Hotline. "I cannot thank Nebraska Medicine enough for the donation to make this happen and Omaha Public Schools for their willingness and commitment to provide Hotline information to all of their students and parents in a more formal, organized way."

Congratulations to the Boys Town National Hotline for its successful partnership and thank you to Nebraska Medicine and Omaha Public Schools for your dedication to providing emotional support to the Greater Omaha Metropolitan area. Together, we can all prevent suicide.

pat-garcia-honored-by-council-bluffs-chamberPat Garcia Honored by Council Bluffs ChamberIowa
Pat Garcia
Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

​Boys Town is dedicated to saving children and healing families, but what you might not know is that we are also dedicated to fostering leaders within our community. That's why we want to give a big congratulations to Pat Garcia, Boys Town Iowa Community Engagement Developer, for being a graduate of Leadership Council Bluffs Class 29.

Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Leadership Council Bluffs Alumni Association, designed the Leadership Council Bluffs program to identify, motivate and inform future leaders in the Council Bluffs community. Applicants were selected for this yearlong, graduate-level program based on their leadership potential and commitment to their community.

"I learned about my leadership style and personality traits that may have a different effect on my leadership with certain groups and individuals," said Garcia. "Being aware of these traits and understanding others' perspectives and passions allows for clearer communication." Garcia was also educated about the history of Council Bluffs, the economic development of Council Bluffs, health systems, public safety, county and city government, legislative policy and practice, and nonprofit/social services.

Along with the coursework, the program divided the group to work on a Community Trustee Project that will make a lasting impact on the community. Garcia's group developed an initiative to partner with VODEC (Vocational Development Center), an organization dedicated to provide services to peoples with disabilities, to host a reverse job fair. This event allowed persons with disabilities the opportunity to network with employers, get advice on resumes and establish internship and other employment opportunities.

"Pat's growth during this program has furthered his knowledge of the needs of our children and families in Iowa," said Debbie Orduna, Boys Town Iowa Executive Director. "He has served as a passionate, dedicated leader and has had a lasting impact on the Council Bluffs community."

This program not only gave Garcia the knowledge needed to enhance his leadership style, but also gave him a vast network of contacts for potential collaboration, positive relationships with others who uplift Council Bluffs and the opportunity to share Boy Town's mission and vision with the community he loves.

the-more-you-give-the-more-you-have-fatbraingives-toys-to-foster-family-servicesThe More You Give, The More You Have: #FatBrainGives Toys to Foster Family ServicesNebraska
FatBrain Toys Gives
Monday, Jul 24, 2017

​There are over 3,300 children in the Nebraska foster care system. We at Boys Town know that this is a time where children are vulnerable, confused and hurting. These children often have nothing but the clothes on their backs, and it is our job to carry out the Boys Town mission and make these children feel comfortable so we can lead them on a path to healing. Having even just one toy during this transition can mean the world to a child within the foster care system, and that's why it was such a privilege to be a part of the Fat Brain Toys #FatBrainGives campaign!

Throughout the month of May, Fat Brain Toys partnered with Delivering Good, Inc to give back to children in need. For every toy bought from their selected donation list, they donated a toy directly to charities that are dedicated to keeping kids safe. This year Boys Town was selected as one of the organizations that received toys through the #FatBrainGives campaign! Their goal was to donate 10,000 toys to children in the Omaha area who need it most.

Now, with the campaign concluded, the #FatBrainGives campaign met their goal and raised 10,000 toys for four organizations dedicated to giving back to the community. Out of these, a total of 2,500 toys will be donated to Boys Town Foster Family Services.

"Certainly any donation to Boys Town Foster Family Services is vital," said Matthew Priest of Boys Town Foster Family Services. "A move for a child can be very traumatic. Giving our children a sense of normalcy, with belongings and comfort items they can call their own, is very important. Foster Care is a community-based program and we are so appreciative of community partners such as Fat Brain. Together we are making our communities stronger and healthier."

The #FatBrainGives campaign is one that will play an important and pivotal role in a child's healing. Thank you to Fat Brain Toys and Delivering Good, Inc for the generous and to all who have dedicated their time and resources to support Boys Town Foster Family Services.

boys-town-iowa-receives-45000-for-in-home-workBoys Town Iowa receives $45,000 for in-home workIowa, Nebraska
Thursday, Jul 20, 2017

This article is written by Tim Johnson. It was posted on nonpareilonline.com on July 19, 2017. 

Boys Town has been awarded a $70,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands that will help fund programs in Iowa and Nebraska.

Boys Town Iowa received $45,000 of the grant for its In-Home Family Services, and Boys Town received $25,000 for its Ways to Work program in South Omaha, a press release from Boys Town stated.

"We are very grateful for the continued support of United Way of the Midlands," the Rev. Steven Boes, Boys Town president and national executive director, said in the release. "This grant allows us to continue to offer important services to families in need of them."

The funding for Boys Town Iowa represents a renewal of an annual grant the In-Home Family Services program first received in 2015, according to Debbie Orduna, executive director of Boys Town Iowa. Boys Town Iowa has worked with almost 100 youth since it partnered with United Way.

Boys Town Iowa has 50 family services consultants scattered throughout the 30 western Iowa counties the program serves, Orduna said. The consultants work with families on behavioral and parenting issues, often after a referral by a school, and are available 24 hours a day to help families manage crises.

The staff works closely with parents and school officials to design a service plan for each youth. The goal is to give parents the tools they need to be successful and keep children safe and in their own homes.

"Oftentimes, families being referred to us, there are pretty complex issues," she said. "We're able to go in, conduct an assessment and provide direct services, but also to make sure they have access to other services they might need."

Boys Town Iowa will collaborate with FAMILY Inc. of Council Bluffs to provide health education, transportation to appointments, health screening and preventive oral health services to children that Boys Town consultants will refer, according to the release.

Boys Town Iowa also serves many families through its Common-Sense Parenting classes and Hope 4 Iowa crisis line, Orduna said.

Boys Town, in partnership with Heartland Family Service, now offers Ways to Work at the South Omaha Boys Town office. The Ways to Work program will provide small, short-term, low-interest loans to 40 to 50 low-income families on a yearly basis, as well as financial education, one-on-one credit and financial coaching and case management throughout the life of the loan.

by-nevada-backpack-drive-community-has-their-back-Boys Town Nevada Backpack Drive Community Has Their BackNevada
Wednesday, Jul 19, 2017

Backpack CommunityFor a family living in poverty, buying their child a backpack for school is one of the last things on their mind. After learning about this need in the community MDL Group, a Nevada commercial real estate group, challenged nine other commercial real estate groups to give back by competing in a backpack drive for Boys Town Nevada.

Wanting to impact their community, MDL Group met with Boys Town Nevada to plan Originally the groups were challenged to collect 2,500 backpacks for youth that Boys Town Nevada serves, but this goal was easily surpassed. When all was said and done, the nine commercial real estate groups collected 9,365 to donate to youth that Boys Town Nevada supports. Seven thousand backpacks were distributed to eight schools served by Boys Town Nevada's School Initiative Program and the rest will be distributed to the families being served through the In-Home Family Services program.

"It was fun, exciting, challenging, inspiring and frustrating at times, but that's what makes the end result even sweeter," said Hayim Mizrachi, Chief Executive Officer of MDL Group. "How cool is it that we were able to give every single child in eight schools a brand new backpack for the school year? Our friends at Boys Town Nevada could not have imagined what the commercial real estate industry is capable of."

In Las Vegas one in four children live in poverty, which is why events like this backpack drive are so important for the site. "The children attending the schools we serve all get free lunches due to income," said Donna Pacella, Boys Town Nevada Development Director. "Many parents have trouble putting food on the table and have no money to provide backpacks or school supplies. These nine companies made a huge difference."

Along with the backpack drive, Metro Diner, a local Nevada establishment, will be providing free meals on July 15 and will be asking patrons to make a donation to Boys Town Nevada.

Thank you to all who were involved with this project and for positively impacting the community one backpack at a time.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world." – Margaret Mead  

Boys-Town-celebrates-100-years-with-alumni-supporters-in-OmahaBoys Town celebrates 100 years with alumni, supporters in OmahaNebraska
Monday, Jul 17, 2017

​​​Hundreds of Boys Town alumni from all over the country reunite in Omaha to celebrate 100th anniversary.

This story is written by Chinh Doan, KETV Anchor/Reporter. It was posted on ketv.com​ on July 14, 2017.

Hundreds of alumni from all over the country are in Omaha this week for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration.

Alumni said it's a family reunion and a reminder of the impact Boys Town continues to make on countless lives.

Mike Silvers and John Silvers are brothers and Boys Town graduates from the 1970s who traveled to Omaha from out of state to participate in the anniversary festivities.

John Mollison, Boys Town alumni director and class of 1964 graduate, has spent months organizing the week's events for former students and their families.

Mollison said it's a homecoming honoring 100 years of caring for America's children and families.

"It worked for me and my generation and it's working for today's kids and their generation," said Mollison.

He said the alumni and current students will always share a special bond.

"Boys Town is a place where anybody can be successful and come from any type of background, from anywhere around the world, and become who they want to be because they have people here who care about them," said 17-year-old Jason Landin, a current student and mayor of the Village of Boys Town.

Both staff and students said the legacy of its founder, Father Edward Flanagan, lives on through social change and a focus on quality care and preventative programs.

"We've taken the technology of helping kids outside their home and placed it in front of millions of America's homes through the internet, through our 800-number and our parent training and even an intervention called 'in-home services,' where we really are one-on-one mentoring a troubled family so that the child can stay at home and be successful and live their dream," said Rev. Steven Boes, Boys Town's fifth executive director.

Mollison told KETV NewsWatch 7 the oldest alum present at the celebration is 100 years old, which is pretty fitting for the anniversary.

For more information on the centennial anniversary, visit its website.​

boys-town-south-florida-hosts-open-house-and-statue-revealBoys Town South Florida Hosts Open House and Statue RevealSouth Florida
Boys Town South Florida Open House
Monday, Jul 17, 2017

​Boys Town South Florida celebrated the opening of their new office located on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard at the Forum Building. The open house provided an opportunity for the members of the community to visit with more than 100+Boys Town staff who do their part every day to touch the lives of over 4,000 at-risk youth and families in the South Florida community.

The event also celebrated the reveal of the new "The Work Continues" statue for the site. "This statue represents the children and families Boys Town serves in communities across the country," said Amy Simpson, Boys Town South Florida Executive Director. "It replaces the iconic Two Brothers statue as a symbol of Boys Town's work now and into the future."

Boys Town South Florida hosted the Ambassadors of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches for this event, who highlighted Simpson and members of the board of trustees at the new office ribbon cutting. Dan Overbey, Chairman of the South Florida Board of Trustees, also shared his testimonial on his continued involvement with Boys Town and his dedication to saving children and healing families.

fathers-matter-event-shows-need-for-fathers-engagementFathers Matter Event Shows Need for Fathers EngagementIowa
Fathers Matter
Monday, Jul 10, 2017

​Father Flanagan believed fathers played an important role in their children's lives. Throughout his lifetime, he was a 'father' to over four thousand boys and believed that, "Every father has a great responsibility in raising his son. In his hands rest, to a large extent, what course in life the boy will follow."

Father Flanagan's concept lives on today in the form of the Fathers Matter Day event. This local initiative was inspired by two national movements, the National Center for Fathering and the National Fathering movement, which promote the importance of active fathering. Fathers Matter Day is centered on a push for an increase in engagement from fathers.

Boys Town Iowa recently partnered with the Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office to host the Fathers Matter event to engage the community. Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, Boys Town Iowa Family Services and Lieutenant Sam Arkfeld from the Pottawattamie Country Sherriff's Office led the event held on Saturday June 10, 2017 in hopes of providing more than services, but rather a day to get fathers involved with their children.

The partnership between Boys Town Iowa and the Pottawattamie Country Sherriff's Office formed through mutual interest in a preventative measure. Through research, they found a large portion of families in the community were without a father figure.

"Nationally, one out of three children lives without their biological father in the home," Garcia said. "Children that grow up without a father figure are four times more at risk of living in poverty and engaging in crime."

Over 300 families and children attended the Fathers Matter Event at Tom Hanafan's River Edge Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Around two dozen community organizations were involved in the fun filled day and set up booths with various activities for families to participate in. The 27 different booths ranged from kite flying, to rocket launching and even included a hair stylist station to teach fathers how to braid hair. No matter the activity, all the booths focused on the idea of providing fathers with an opportunity to get involved with their children through fun activities to reestablish and build stronger bonds.

Boys Town Iowa has plans of continuing this event annually with the Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office in hopes of involving the whole community while engaging families.

"Looking forward, we hope to utilize our Common Sense Parenting classes specifically for fathers in Pottawattamie County while raising awareness and providing avocation for fathering within the community," Garcia said.

tough-choice-pays-off-for-tj-Davis-who-has-become-leader-on-the-football-field-at-Boys-TownTough choice pays off for Ti’jaih Davis, who has become leader on, off football field at Boys TownNebraska
TJ Football
Monday, Jul 10, 2017

Ti'jaih Davis arrived at Boys Town in June 2014 from a rough neighborhood in Baltimore, mainly for two reasons. First, he wanted to avoid the violence and distractions of his hometown. Second, he wanted to be a positive influence on his family.

The decision was not easy for Davis and his mother, whom he left in Baltimore when he was 14. But it has proven to be a good one.

Davis, entering his final year as a Boys Town quarterback and defensive back, accepted a scholarship offer in late June to play in the secondary at South Dakota State. He picked the Jackrabbits over an offer from fellow FCS school North Dakota. He also had interest from North Dakota State. It's unlikely that any of the schools would have been aware of Davis' football abilities had he stayed on the East Coast.

And he might not have achieved as much.

"In Baltimore there is a lot of violence and not many opportunities to be successful and achieve the goals you set for yourself," he said, thinking back on his decision at 14. "This would get me out of all of the distractions and away from the crime in Baltimore."

Now he wants to parlay his full scholarship into a degree and be in position to help his family financially.

"I wanted to set myself up to be financially stable and support myself, my family and make sure that no one in my family has to struggle," he said.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Davis, who also goes by T.J., has started at defensive back since arriving at Boys Town as a freshman. As a junior, he started playing quarterback and set single-season school records for passing yards and touchdowns.

He's also grown into a leader of the Boys Town community, elected by students as vice mayor for the 2017-18 school year.

Chris Nizzi, Boys Town's new football coach, has been impressed.

"Ti'jaih understands that leaders need to be humble and workers first," Nizzi said. "That has been an important piece to the beginning of our workouts in the summer and hopefully going into our season. We are very eager to see how he grows as a quarterback, defensive back, football player and young man in our football program."

Davis didn't know what to expect from Nizzi but said he has been impressed with his new coach.

"He has done a whole lot for me that I didn't expect from a coach," Davis said. "He has held us accountable and teaches us discipline. He has been a big factor in getting me out there in front of coaches."

"At Boys Town you just have to keep your head up and stay disciplined," he said. "Here you are going to make a lot of mistakes even though they seem like the smallest mistakes in the real world. They hold you accountable for everything."

Leaving home and being away from his family for three-plus years has been hard, but he realizes that it has helped him achieve a new perspective.

"With your actions you can help a lot of other people because when someone sees someone else doing something (good), they believe they can do it," Davis said. "No matter what is going on, you can't stop and can never let up."

 

boys-town-has-large-presence-at-college-world-seriesBoys Town Has Large Presence at College World SeriesNebraska
Boys Town Color Guard at College World Series
Monday, Jul 10, 2017

​There is one special time of the year where people from across the country flock to the middle of the United States and bond over their shared love of America's past time. The College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska draws hundreds of thousands of people together to celebrate achievement in the game of baseball. This year, Boys Town had a special place in the College World Series, including an opportunity to perform on the field, an opportunity to have a booth in Baseball Village and an opportunity for the youth and families of Boys Town to attend the College World Series.

The Boys Town Color Guard and Voices has participated in the National Anthem Ceremonies of the College World Series for over 20 years; while other presenters must audition each year for a spot, Boys Town is awarded a special spot in these ceremonies. This year the Voices of Boys Town sang the National Anthem during game 9, accompanied by a video on the scoreboard honoring Boys Town's 100 year celebration.

In addition to these presentations, Boys Town was chosen for the Flying Flags Charity event. The organizers of Omaha Baseball Village host this event as a way to recognize local nonprofits, while also raising the flags for the teams participating in the College World Series. This year Boys Town was chosen to tell the community about our organization and what we do for the community. Boys Town then raised the flag for Florida State University, who's a great supporter of Boys Town North Florida.

If fans wanted to learn more about Boys Town they were able to head over to Baseball Village to view our booth. This presented the perfect setting to reintroduce fans to Boys Town and its mission. Employees at the booth were able to talk about Boys Town programs, show off Boys Town baseball memorabilia and encourage the CWS fans to visit the Village.  

"The Boys Town display at Baseball Village is a wonderful baseball-related collection of artifacts," said Herb Hames, Senior Development Director, Nebraska/Iowa Region. "The College World Series is the biggest sports event in Omaha and I love that Boys Town has been involved and that our kids get to attend it."

That's right, each year Boys Town is the recipient of hundreds of general admission tickets by the Directors of the College World Series Board. Hames has been involved with the College World Series for 28 years as the volunteer ticket chairman, which gives youth the opportunity to get off campus and enjoy a night of baseball and making memories with their brothers, sisters and Family-Teachers.

As a special gift, Boys Town's Vice Mayor also presented a copy of our 100 Year Anniversary book to Jack Diesing, Chair of College World Series Inc, and Ron Prettyman, Managing Director of Championships and Alliances for the NCAA.

"This is an exciting year for Boys Town and we're so grateful to the event organizers for recognizing the importance of our centennial and providing us with the opportunity to share Father Flanagan's dream with baseball fans from across the country," said Melissa Farris, Boys Town Marketing Specialist. "None of it would have been possible, however, without the support of dozens of employees and their families who volunteered at our exhibit at the Omaha Baseball Village or were involved in other College World Series events to represent Boys Town."

dad-refuses-to-let-past-define-his-familys-futureDad Refuses to Let Past Define His Family’s FutureNew England
A Man and His Son Holding Hands
Monday, Jul 10, 2017

Marcus was under the influence and out of control. He was an addict whose reckless behavior and bad judgment left him ill-equipped to care for himself or his family.

His poor choices culminated in a legal mess that involved drug possession and allegations of abuse toward his young sons, Marcus Jr. and Micah. Both were placed in protective custody.

If the family was ever going to be reunited, this single dad had to change his life. The best factor in his favor is that he wanted to try.

As part of his rehabilitation, Marcus was referred to Boys Town New England's Care Coordination Services (CCS) to get support and guidance on how to create a safe, stable home environment. The CCS program includes a visitation component, so parents like Marcus can get coaching and participate in skill-building activities to repair their family relationships and ensure successful reunification.

For nearly nine months, a Boys Town CCS Consultant worked with Marcus. Much of that time was spent on refining and reshaping his parenting style. According to Dad, he disciplined his kids the same way he had been disciplined. But those old-school methods were often harsh, sometimes physical and always ineffective.

To empower Marcus to become a more compassionate and capable parent, the CCS Consultant introduced him to Boys Town Common Sense Parenting® skills.

The Consultant taught Marcus how to provide positive attention, use appropriate consequences, model healthy behaviors and communicate clearly. Marcus also learned how to advocate for himself and his children so the family could be reunited.

Throughout the intervention, Marcus was honest, transparent and remorseful about his past misdeeds. He never made excuses or wallowed in self-pity. He stayed focused on improving himself and making his family whole again.

In the end, his perseverance paid off.

Marcus and the children spent a happy Christmas and New Year's together – unsupervised. The reunion was such a success, the family was permanently reunited a few weeks later.

Today, everyone is doing well. Marcus Jr. and Micah are responding to Dad's new parenting style. Both love books and school, and Micah recently made the honor roll.  

Thanks to Boys Town's help and Dad's determination to change, the family is happier, healthier and whole again.

boys-town-and-lincoln-electric-partnership-supports-youth-developmentBoys Town and Lincoln Electric: Partnership Supports Youth DevelopmentNebraska
Lincoln Electric
Monday, Jul 3, 2017

​Without roads to drive on, mechanics to fix our cars, welders to build our bridges and plumbers that come to our rescue, where we would we be? The fact of the matter is tradespeople are essential to our society, yet many still believe that trades are a secondary option or are less than compared to other jobs. Jim Clements and Lincoln Electric, the world's largest provider of welding and cutting equipment, are both doing their part to destigmatize trade jobs and provide Boys Town youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to have successful trade careers once they're out of the system.

Jim Clements began his career at Boys Town in the housekeeping department in 2001 and immediately fell in love with the work and support that Boys Town provides. In 2010 he returned with his wife and served as a Family Teacher for five years before working as a hotline counselor and, finally, finding his place as the vocational teacher at Boys Town High School.

Now, as the Technical Trades Instructor, Clements dedicates his time addressing the stigma surrounding trade jobs and inspiring youth to follow their passions regardless of what society has to say. "I have always been a firm believer that skilled tradespeople are the backbone of our society," said Clements. "Teaching trades to our students gives them a sense of purpose and fulfillment that many of them have never experienced. Having a part of that and knowing that the classes I run for these kids might be the catalyst for a lifelong career is humbling and rewarding, and it's probably the biggest reason I get up every morning and come to work."

Lincoln Electric originally took an interest in Boys Town after hearing that the welding program needed equipment. After learning about Boys Town and the youth that come through the program they knew that they wanted to partner with Boys Town and generously donated a multi-process welding machine, a plasma torch, a TIG welder and a number of their high-quality welding helmets. "The fact of the matter is that we simply could not have made this class work as well as we have without these generous donations," said Clements.

Boys Town supports the idea that trades are not a secondary choice and can be viable careers for the youth. With the rising cost of tuition at four-year universities, more people are beginning to understand the value of trade careers. With passionate teachers like James Clements and companies like Lincoln Electric who are dedicated to supporting welding education for Boys Town youth, we are ensuring that our students are going out into the world one step ahead of the competition.

"My students have heard me say this a thousand times: Going into skilled trades should be considered a victory, not a consolation prize. For too long we have let the universities convince us and our kids that the question to be asked of our future is 'are you good enough for college, or will you get stuck doing manual labor?'" said Clements. "My humble opinion is that maybe it's time for us to turn that philosophy on its head and start asking our kids if they have the skills to become something as important as a tradesperson."

Boys Town: Trade Life
Watch the video below for the full story of Boys Town's new welding program and the involvement from Lincoln Electric. This video originally appeared on www.arcmagazine.pub.

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