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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Honors One of Boys Town’s Biggest Fans at Golf Classic https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-central-florida-honors-one-of-boys-towns-biggest-fans.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Honors One of Boys Town’s Biggest Fans at Golf Classic <p>​For the past 12 years, Boys Town Central Florida and Holland Pools & Spas have joined together to put on the Demetree Golf Classic, to raise money and bring awareness to a terrific cause. This year however, the event hit even closer to home for both Boys Town and Holland Pools. "This year we honored Mike Holland, former owner and Board Member who passed in May of this year," said Tabitha Talbott, Donor Relations Specialist.</p><p>Mike Holland served as a member of the Boys Town Central Florida board for six years and was lending a helping hand since 2004. He and his wife's company, Holland Pools & Spas, first started getting involved with Boys Town through sponsoring local events, such as golf tournaments and the Christmas Candy Cane 5K. Mike loved helping out in the community, especially Boys Town, and would do anything he could to help make sure children were given the opportunity to have a happy life. "Mike was never a person to say no. He was always willing to help in any way, even during those times when he was battling his health, he was there," said Greg Zyblut, Boys Town Central Florida Executive Director. </p><p>Friends of Holland Pools and community businesses in the Central Florida area came out to the Demetree Golf Classic on October 6, 2017, to celebrate Mike Holland and an organization he was so passionate about.  </p><p>The event had 97 registered golfers who could participate in several competitions such as a hole-in-one tournament, putting contest, and the longest drive. There was also a chance for golfers to put their name in a raffle for small items or bid on a $3,500 diamond pendant, where the winners were then called out by special guest MC and local news anchor, Greg Warmouth. </p><p>Toward the end of the event, a memorable moment took place for those who were close to Mike Holland, as Greg Zbylut presented Gloria Holland, Mike's wife, with a memorial canvas honoring her husband. "We will miss him and never forget him for his generosity. We look forward to working with the Holland family to keep Mike's work moving forward," said Zyblut.</p><p>Through the Demetree Golf Classic, Boys Town Central Florida not only raised $26,000 for children and families, but showed Mike's family how thankful they were of his caring gestures and kind heart.</p><img alt="Boys Town Central Florida Honors One of Boys Town’s Biggest Fans at Golf Classic" src="/news/PublishingImages/102517_HollandOpen.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Receives Grant from Orlando Sentinel Family Fund https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-central-florida-receives-grant-from-orlando-sentinel-family-fund.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Receives Grant from Orlando Sentinel Family Fund <p>​Boys Town Central Florida recently received a $60,000 grant through the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund, a McCormick Foundation fund. This grant will support Boys Town Central Florida's mission by providing scholarships for low-income families in their Common Sense Parenting® classes and by supporting programs for the at-risk homes in the In-Home Family Program. </p><p>The Orlando Sentinel Family Fund is committed to improving the communities of Central Florida by funding qualified nonprofit organizations that aid disadvantaged children and families. Helping these communities become successful and achieve self-sufficiency is their major goal, which is why they are long-time supporters of Boys Town Central Florida. </p><p>"We have a long-standing relationship with the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund and Lisa Jacobsen, Orlando Sentinel Media Group's Charitable Giving and Communications Manager," said Tabitha Talbott, Donor Relations Specialist for Boys Town Central Florida. "The Orlando Sentinel Family Fund funds many nonprofit organizations every year, with Boys Town Central Florida being a prominent recipient for the last several years. They believe in Boys Town's mission and vision."</p><p>Since 2007, Boys Town Central Florida has received nine separate grants from the foundation, totaling at $335,000. "Boys Town Central Florida is very pleased and proud to be a partner with the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund and are grateful for their continued support," said Terry Knox, Boys Town Central Florida Development Director. </p><p>Local grant opportunities like the Orlando Sentinel Family Fund are crucial for supporting Boys Town's mission and vision for America's families. Congratulations to Boys Town Central Florida on receiving this grant so they can continue to save children and heal families in Central Florida!</p><img alt="Boys Town Central Florida Receives Grant from Orlando Sentinel Family Fund" src="/news/PublishingImages/062017_SentinelFund.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Skittles, Skills Help Family Scuttle Obstacles to Stability https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/skittles-skills-help-family.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Skittles, Skills Help Family Scuttle Obstacles to Stability <p>Savannah and Petr, and their two boys, Wyatt and Ellis, each picked eight Skittles out of the bag. The fruit-flavored candies weren't exactly a treat for the family; it was more like a test.<br>The color of each piece of candy – red, yellow, orange, green and purple – corresponded to color-coded notecards scrawled with questions for family members to answer. Questions like, "What is the best thing about the person sitting to your right?" and "What is your happiest family memory?" At the end of the Q-and-A session, they all were asked to recall at least one new thing they learned about each of their other family members.  </p><p>"It was a bonding exercise aimed at improving their listening skills," explained Boys Town Central Florida Family Consultant Justin Stephens. "I like to play a lot of games and activities with families that teach skills but also help them open up and feel more comfortable." </p><p>Being comfortable around Justin wasn't a problem for Savannah, who was already familiar with Boys Town Central Florida. She had previously attended Common Sense Parenting<sup>®</sup> classes, where she learned about the site's In-Home Family Services. At the time, she and her husband Petr were struggling to keep Wyatt and Ellis from constantly fighting with each other. Savannah hoped Justin's intervention would help bring some much-needed peace and calm to their household.  </p><p>Not everyone felt so at ease with having a "stranger" in the home. Petr refused to even talk with Justin during the family's first in-home meeting, fearing his past indiscretions would color the Family Consultant's opinion of him.</p><p>Unfortunately, Savannah and Petr were also dealing with a strained relationship. The couple had tried counseling, but it was derailed when Petr accused the therapist of twisting his words. The experience made him angry and suspicious of any outsider's help.  </p><p>Getting Petr to open up was Justin's top priority. The games and activities were one strategy Justin used to establish trust and enhance understanding. He also listened but never judged. While it didn't happen overnight, Petr gradually lowered his defenses.  </p><p>"Once I connected with Petr, he felt more comfortable. He even started calling me to talk," Justin said.  </p><p>The more involved Petr got, the easier it became for the whole family to deal with their underlying issues. </p><p>Petr was depressed and anxious about the family's finances. He had a seasonal, low-paying job and a limited education. To address his fragile emotional state, Justin connected him to counseling services and devised a staying-calm plan Petr could use whenever he felt overwhelmed. He also encouraged Petr to enroll in a local community college to improve his job skills.</p><p>Justin taught both parents healthy ways to communicate, including how to be more affectionate and patient with their children by praising their good behaviors and effectively correcting their misbehaviors. This combination of skill teaching, counseling and encouragement ultimately helped the family turn a corner and grow closer.</p><p>"The family achieved all of their goals," Justin said. "They're not perfect, but now they have the skills they need to be successful."  </p><p>Today, Petr continues his studies and has a new, better job. He and Savannah also have returned to couples therapy in order to strengthen their marriage. To the delight of their boys, both are more loving parents, and everyone is committed to creating a healthier, happier home. </p><img alt="Skittles, Skills Help Family Scuttle Obstacles to Stability " src="/news/PublishingImages/Skittles.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Central Florida's Candy Cane 5k Celebrates 10th Anniversary https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/central-floridas-candy-cane-5k-celebrates-10th-anniversary.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Central Florida's Candy Cane 5k Celebrates 10th Anniversary <p>​​​Boys Town Central Florida held their 10th annual Candy Cane 5k on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Central Winds Park in Winter Springs. This year, over 600 runners took off at 8 a.m., on the five kilometer run through the park and raised over $15,000.</p><p>Runners brought out their best holiday running outfits in an attempt to take home the title of “Best Costume”. Although impressive, the fake beards, elf costumes, red and white stripped socks and even a Santa costume didn’t beat the best costume winner - Ms. Barbara Opper. Ms. Opper portrayed Mrs. Claus complete with a candy cane tutu. Teams also gathered in order to win the title of largest team competing. This year’s winner, the EEES Roadrunners from English Estate Elementary School, took home the title with an impressive 34-person team all sporting matching Christmas costumes. </p><p>​According to Boys Town Central Florida Executive Director, Greg Zbylut, “This race has grown immensely through our community support and engagement efforts. We are blessed with a caring community that wants to have a role in making a difference for children and families.”</p><p>The Candy Cane 5k began in 2006 as a class project of Leadership Seminole and has since grown in number of runners who participate and in the number of sponsors who support the event. This year’s run was sponsored by Holland Pools, Anderson and Ferrin Attorneys at Law, Synergy Mortgage, Ti’Juana Flats, Yang Enterprises INC., The Canovas Photography, Charter Spectrum, Beers and Gordon Civil Trial Attorneys, Citizens Bank of Florida, Fun Spot America Theme Parks, Garganese, Weiss and D’Agresta Attorneys at Law, M Paul General Contractors, The Law Office of Timothy A. Moran, Orlando Health, Oviedo Car Care, Nemours Children’s Hospital, University Behavioral Center, Waste Pro, Your Oviedo Dentist, Krispy Kreme in Winter Park, Moon-Glade Photography, Oviedo Mall, Race Time Sports, City of Winter Springs, Kiwanis, Darlene Brown Team, First 2 Aid, Look Local Magazine, My House Fitness, Paramount Urgent Care in Oviedo, Synergy Mortgage Powered by The Mortgage Firm and Breeze Entertainment.</p><p>Throughout the event, there were numerous activities for the whole family to enjoy. In addition to the 5k, there is also a Kids Fun Run for younger children to participate in and a Kids zone complete with crafts and fun activities such as face painting, a bounce house, music and even a meet and greet with Santa. </p><p>All runners receive a medal for participating in the run and the top three from various age groups received a prize in addition to their medal. The top times in the four categories were: Tyson coming in at the top time of 17:40 minutes for the male category, Elayna with 19:47 minutes for the female category, Angelo at 19:04 minutes for the male masters category and Tracey at an even 24 minutes for the female masters category.</p><p>Boys Town Central Florida extends a thank you to all the sponsors of the 10th annual Candy Cane 5k and to all the runners who made this year’s event a success! Thank you for supporting the children and families of Boys Town Central Florida!</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane1_jpg.jpg" title="Candy Cane 5k Run"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane2_jpg.jpg" title="Kids Zone"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane3_jpg.jpg" title="Candy Cane Cheer Leaders"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane4_jpg.jpg" title="Best Costume"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane5_jpg.jpg" title="10 Years"> ​ </a></div><img alt="Candy Cane 5k Run" src="/news/PublishingImages/CandyCane_jpg.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Helps Family through Tough Times https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-central-florida-helps-family-through-tough-times.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Central Florida Helps Family through Tough Times <p>​​​Maxine Nelson had always put family first. So she didn't think twice when it came to deciding that she and her husband would become the primary caregivers ​​of their 10-year-old great-grandson, Da'Kendrik.</p><p>Da'Kendrik was nearly alone in the world. His mother had passed away when he was 6 and his father was never really involved in his life. The boy's grandparents also were deceased.</p><p>Maxine and her husband did the best they could to raise Da'Kendrik. But when her husband passed away, it caused tremendous financial and emotional hardships for the 83-year-old Maxine and her great-grandson. In early 2016, she lost her home of 40 years to foreclosure, and she and Da'Kendrik found themselves without a permanent place to live. </p><p>For nearly seven months, Maxine and Da'Kendrik just got by, living in sub-par surroundings. Many of Da'Kendrik's toys and Maxine's remaining home furnishings had to be placed in storage. The situation was most difficult for Da'Kendrik, who struggled in school as he tried to cope with his stress and anger.</p><p>The family's plight eventually came to the attention of Boys Town Central Florida, and Family Consultant Janae Moore began working with Maxine and Da'Kendrik.</p><p>Janae said it was very frustrating to see what Maxine was going through to keep her and her great-grandson together.</p><p>"It was a really difficult living environment and they basically had to live together in the same room," Janae said. "They also faced other tough situations like having to get by with just a mini-fridge. It was really taking a toll on both Maxine and Da'Kendrik."</p><p>Fortunately, Maxine got some unexpected help as Janae was starting her work. A neighbor named Chloe Battle met Maxine and Da'Kendrik by chance. When Chloe saw Maxine and the young boy moving in, she helped move a box because it was the neighborly thing to do. From that point on, Chloe was willing to help as much as possible.</p><p>Janae's first order ​of business was to contact local organizations that could help Maxine and Da'Kendrik find permanent housing. Once that was accomplished, Janae helped negotiate a reasonable rent. Meanwhile, Chloe contacted friends, families and churches about supporting the family with basic funds so they could get back on their feet. Chloe also recruited people to move and unload the family's belongings that had been in storage.</p><p>Besides helping with everyday living necessities, Janae also addressed Da'Kendrik's special needs. </p><p>"I helped Da'Kendrik by meeting with him weekly and teaching skills," Janae said. "I modeled positive behaviors like manners, staying calm and keeping my promises."</p><p>Janae also used games to teach the skills, which the youngster enjoyed. She took special pride in helping Maxine acquire health insurance for Da'Kendrik, who had never been to the dentist and had begun having toothaches.</p><p>As she built trust with Da'Kendrik, Janae could see him begin to show social improvement. She was able to arrange for a counselor to work with him on coping with the loss of loved ones. Janae also suggested enrolling Da'Kendrik in swimming lessons. Chloe signed him up and took him to the local YMCA twice a week.</p><p>"Chloe is amazing," Janae said. "She drives the family around, makes calls for Maxine when she needs help, you name it. Plus, she went to school meetings and acted as a tutor for Da'Kendrik twice a week. Chloe has never left them. She has been a key part in keeping them together."</p><p>Janae said it is truly satisfying to see the progress Maxine and Da'Kendrik have made.</p><p>"When I first met Da'Kendrik, he was struggling in school and was very angry, unmotivated and uncooperative," Janae said. "By the end of his Boys Town services, he was listening more to instructions, brought his grades up and just seemed to be a happier person."</p><p>For Janae Moore and Boys Town Central Florida, keeping a family together is a beautiful thing.​</p><img alt="Da’Kendrik is thriving today thanks to his great-grandmother’s care and the guidance of Boys Town Central Florida." src="/news/PublishingImages/DaKendrik%20for%20Maxine%20Nelson%20story%20IMG_0027%20rec%20122816.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/boys-town-a-beacon-of-hope-for-troubled-youth.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth <p> <em>​​​​​​​This story aired on</em> CBS Sunday Morning a<em>nd was posted on <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boys-town-a-beacon-for-troubled-youth/" target="_blank">cbsnews.com</a> on December 25, 2016.</em></p><p> <em>"There's no place like home." Rarely is that truer than this time of year. Our Christmas Cover Story is all about a very special home for some very needy children, as reported by Tony Dokoupil:</em></p><p>Right near the midpoint of America, ten miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska, there's a town that sits between childhood and whatever comes after.</p><p>"These young people are about to become citizens of the most famous village in the world," said Father Stephen Boes at a swearing-in ceremony.</p><p>In this town, almost every kid is at a crossroads -- and the goal of all the grown-ups here is to help kids leave Boys Town behind.</p><p>"I do solemnly promise … that I will be a good citizen."</p><p>Eighteen-year-old Chase Pruss, from Dodge, Neb., was sworn in here six months ago --  arriving, like a lot of the kids, straight from jail.</p><p>"I took the school safe," he said.  "Just for money. For Beer money. And gas money. And buy cigarettes."</p><p>Two more break-ins followed, and Pruss ended up arrested in front of his bewildered parents. "My mom was crying, my dad was crying," he said.</p><p>He had run through four different schools, stolen and lied.</p><p>And he faced 80 years in prison, ​until a judge helped get him into Boys Town. "I ​​had that mindset of, "I never want to ever ​put myself in the position where I could land myself back in an orange jumpsuit," Pruss said. "I never ​wanted my ​jail ID ​number to say ​who I was."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-in-class.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris (right) in class at Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>Seventeen-year-old Andre Harris came to Boys Town the same way.  Nearly three years ago, back in Amarillo, Texas, he stole a car, and ended up in juvenile detention.</p><p>"I didn't feel like I was gonna amount to anything after that," he told Dokoupil.  </p><p>Frankly, he didn't think he'd amount to much <em>before </em>jail, either. College seemed out of reach. He can't remember hearing someone say they were proud of him.</p><p>Dokoupil said of Boys Town, "More felons per capita here than any town in Nebraska."</p><p>"Probably!" Harris laughed. "But we're all doing our best to change."</p><p>Almost every week here at Boys Town, new boys (and since 1979, new girls, too) are sent by social workers, judges and desperate parents. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting in trouble.</p><p>And Boys Town is their last chance.</p><p>"A lot of people would say they're bad kids," Dokoupil said. "Is that how they see themselves when they get here?"</p><p>"Some of our kids do," replied Tony Jones, one of Boys Town's "family teachers." "They see themselves as, you know, on the bottom of the totem pole."</p><p>And how do they change that mindset? "You show them that this is <em>your</em> decision. This is <em>your</em> life."</p><p>Jones and his wife, Simone, run one of 55 homes on campus. Eight Boys Town children live there like a family, alongside the Jones' three biological kids.</p><p>"Every single young man that has come through my home has now become a part of my family," Jones said.</p><p>This is a large part of what makes Boys Town so powerful; all 360 kids living here have paid Boys Town parents like Tony and Simone.</p><p>"It's a professional, full-time Dad, brother, uncle, cousin -- whatever my boys may need me to be at that particular time in their life, that, then, is who I become for them," Jones said.</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-tony-and-simone-jones-and-family.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Tony Jones and his wife, Simone, and three children share their home with eight Boys Town students. CBS News​</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>He began at Boys Town as a boy himself. He was born to a shattered family in Detroit. "I can recall my brother and I standing at a bus stop, and it was in the dead of winter. And we only had one pair of socks to share between the two us," Jones laughed.</p><p>But then a priest gave the Jones brothers a chance to change their lives at Boys Town. "It was a total transformation," he said.</p><p>Dokoupil asked, "Where do you think you would be if you had said no to Boys Town?"</p><p>"Oh, two places: I would either be incarcerated, or I would be dead."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-father-edward-flanagan.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>The Jones story is typical of a hundred years of stories at Boys Town, which began in 1917 as Father Flanagan's Home for Boys. The most beloved clergyman in America, he created arguably the most famous reform school in the world.</p><p>Of his charges, Father Flanagan said, "His bruised and tortured heart and mind must be nursed back to normal health through kindness."</p><p>You may remember a 1938-Oscar winning movie about the place starring Spencer Tracy. But what you probably don't know is it's a real town, with a real post office and police department.</p><p>At about $65,000 per student per year, Boys Town is comparable to a top private college -- and it's mostly taxpayers footing the bill.</p><p>But taxpayers pay for prisons, too -- more than $39 billion a year nationally. Boys Town says it can help keep those prison cells empty, while nearly doubling the chance that these students will graduate from high school.</p><p>Dokoupil asked Jones, "How do you avoid coming in and being just another person telling them all the things they're doing wrong?"</p><p>"By telling them all the things they're doing right," Jones replied. "That's how you help kids change. It's being able to say, 'Hey, young man, you did a good job this morning getting up.'"</p><p>"It almost sounds like a joke."</p><p>"Well, you know something? That little praise goes a long way."</p><p>That little praise goes all the way back to Father Flanagan's ​founding idea: "There are no bad boys."</p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful … well, the results say otherwise.</p><p>When asked where he would be without Boys Town, Chase Pruss replied, "I'd be in lockup." As did another. </p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful, just listen to the results. Tesharr said, "I've been here for a short amount of time. But since my first day I didn't feel like I was in a place where I couldn't leave. I felt like I was home."</p><p>Of course, the Boys Town way does not work for every child who comes here; there are failures. But for Chase's parents, Dan and Trish, it's been nothing short of a Christmas miracle.</p><p>Dokoupil asked them, "Who was Chase before Boys Town and who is he today?"</p><p>"He was dishonest, disrespectful, a thief," said his mother. "And now he is the Chase that I always wanted him to be."</p><p>For Andre Harris, the change has been no less dramatic since stealing that car. "It's not even the same person," he said.</p><p>And how is he different? "My actions, the way I speak. I've grown up. I've become a young man."</p><p>He's a school leader now … a star on the track team … and he's just found out he's headed to college next year. </p><p>But first, he's headed to Amarillo for the holidays … a place he hasn't seen in nearly three years. It's a place that Boys Town has been preparing him for since the very day he made his grand theft exit: </p><p>It's home.</p><p>"This is my Christmas gift," Robert Harris told Dokoupil. "This is all I wanted!"</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-home-in-amarillo.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris is welcomed by neighbors back home in Amarillo, Texas. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> Central Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Central Florida https://www.boystown.org/locations/central-florida/news-and-events/Pages/holiday-celebrations-at-boys-town-central-florida.aspxBoys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Central Florida <p>​​Boys Town Central Florida hosts two large events in honor of the holidays. Every year, the annual Tree Light Ceremony takes place. Music, community recognition awards, speeches by Family Home youth, tours of homes and the shelter and a guest appearance by Santa to light the tree are some of the activities going on throughout the celebration. The shelter decorates in a different holiday theme every year and this year, the theme was "Whoville", from the Grinch. A local theatre company partnered with Boys Town Central Florida to work with the children weekly on writing assignments on who their Whoville character is. </p><p>This year also marked the 10th Anniversary of Boys Town Central Florida's Candy Cane 5k. Boys Town Central Florida holds this run yearly to raise money for their programs while creating a fun event for the whole family. The run brings in over 500 runners every year and includes many fun contests and prizes that runners are eligible to win. A costume contest kicks off the run motivating attendees to dress up in their most festive Christmas gear. There is also a Kid Fun Run for children and a Kids Zone complete with crafts, face painting, bounce house, music and even a visit to Santa. Every runner receives a medal and the top three male and female runners from each age category are given a prize in addition to their medal.​</p><img alt="Santa in a firetruck" src="/news/PublishingImages/010317_CFL_Holiday1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Central Florida;#