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Making a Difference a Difference<p><span style="background-color:transparent;">​​Est</span><span style="background-color:transparent;">ablishing a comfortable work relationship is one of the most important factors for consultants working with families dealing with issues. For Boys Town's Livie Gordon, it made the difference in helping a family come together and find solutions for its problems.</span></p><p>Livie is a Family-Centered Services Specialist for Boys Town in Sioux City, Iowa. She began providing services for a family this past February with a 15-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. Services began after their daughter unfortunately ended up between mom and dad during a physical altercation. Tensions were already high after their son was removed from the home and placed with relatives due to alleged sexual abuse concerns he had with another child in the community.</p><p>The parents were not getting along, argued often and the home atmosphere was very tense.</p><p>Livie was able to develop a positive working relationship with the family very early on. Originally, she was not their primary service provider, but covered one day of services with them and made a positive impression.</p><p>The family stated they felt comfortable working with Livie. She was able to get mom, dad, and the daughter into counseling services right away and she introduced a safety plan with them. She also taught the family various communication skills, helped them work through difficult situations and taught parenting skills from Common Sense Parenting®.</p><p>Livie made a difference.</p><p>The family never needed to use their safety plan and they never had another incident of domestic violence. They reported being able to the use the skills Livie had taught them, such as giving space to one another when having a disagreement and using healthy communication skills when they were both calm and ready to talk.</p><p>Additionally, there were issues between the family and the relatives caring for their 15-year-old son. The boy was unhappy while he was there and asked to return home before going to placement. They asked Livie if their case could remain open so she could support them in having their son home with them. Livie and the family advocated to the DHS worker to keep the case open until the son's placement was available and DHS agreed.</p><p>The worker returned the child to the parent's home and Livie continued to provide services to the family. The son struggled with listening, following through, and staying on task and they often reached out to Livie for assistance in how to deal with these behaviors. When Livie would arrive at the family home, all of the family members were seated at the table and ready to work on whatever skill Livie was teaching that appointment. There were no incidents with the son while he was home and the parents did not have major arguments or disagreements between one another. Their case has now closed successfully.​<br></p>2022-01-05T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Kyle’s Mile 7 – Annual Suicide and Bullying Prevention Ride in Cedar Rapids, IA’s Mile 7 – Annual Suicide and Bullying Prevention Ride in Cedar Rapids, IA<p>On Saturday, August 21, Kyle's Mile 7 took place in Cedar Rapids, IA after being cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Spearheaded by Kyle's father, Byron Cooper, Kyle's Mile is an annual suicide awareness and prevention ride where all monies raised goes to the Boys Town National Hotline. Byron lost his son Kyle to suicide 8 years ago. In Nebraska and Iowa alone, suicide is the second-leading cause of death for children ages 15-19.</p><p><strong>On the day of the ride…</strong></p><p>Starting right at 10:45 am, kickstands were up, and the riders left the Metro Harley Davidson Suzuki Can-Am Motorcycle Dealership and headed to their destination at North Point Saloon, almost 100 miles from the start. The ride had two stops along the way with roughly 300 riders, including bikes and a handful of cars. To add an element of entertainment, there was a silent and live auction, raffle, food, and drinks. In honor of Kyle, specialty shirts are made every year and sold to raise funds for the event. As the ride continues to gain attraction, donations are also made by local companies to go towards the endowment Byron started for this ride. Collins Aerospace in Cedar Rapids matches dollar for dollar up to $25,000. The latest addition to the donor list is University of Perdue Online, which donated $2,500 this year.</p><p>From the words of Byron himself, "Suicide, depression, and bullying are all taboo topics, and we want to talk about them. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or may be exactly what was needed to pull someone out of a dark place."</p><p>Kyle's Mile 7 was a huge success, raising a total of $33,512 in donations! Unique to this year's ride, one of the bikers offered to cut his full beard and hair for a donation of $1,000. There is no question that the event is always memorable, bringing together family and friends to honor Kyle and to remember all of those that were lost to suicide.</p><p>Byron and his family would like to thank everyone who came to support the cause last Saturday. It was a huge success and Byron is grateful for that! "It's not because of me, it's about everyone that is there. The community support makes all the difference." </p><p><strong>If you are interested in supporting this event or would like to start your own bike ride to benefit Boys Town, please contact Stan Kontogiannis at 402-315-0156.<br></strong></p><p><img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Kyles-Mile.jpg" alt="Kyle's Mile Participants" style="margin:5px;" /><br><strong></strong></p>2021-09-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Motorcycles from Kyles Ride" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Kyles-Mile-thumb.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Patrick Garcia Selected Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa Garcia Selected Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa<p>Boys Town would like to congratulate Patrick Garcia, Boys Town Iowa's Executive Director, for being selected as the Board President for the Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa. </p><p>The Coalition of Children and Families of Iowa is a collection of providers that provide a range of mental health, child welfare, juvenile justice, and other social services to children and families in need. </p><p>In Patrick's new role as Board President, he will serve as the official spokesperson for the Coalition and chair the Executive Committee. He will also collaborate with the Executive Director and other members of the Board to execute a strategic plan for the Coalition. </p><p>"I am very honored to be asked to serve as the President of the Coalition's Board of Directors.", said Patrick. "The Coalition is a collective membership of providers for the children and family services in Iowa that works for system change. The Coalition consistently works toward keeping families together when it is safe to do so and ensuring high quality out of home care when it is necessary to remove a child from their home. The Coalition has become the platform for the Private Public partnership with the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justices systems in Iowa. This opportunity will allow me to continue to lead and influence how Iowa cares for its children and families."</p><p>Boys Town is very thankful for Patrick and his dedication to being an advocate for children and families in Iowa. </p>2021-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Patrick Garcia" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Pat-Garcia-Photo_web.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town Stands for Racial Equality Town Stands for Racial Equality<p>Nearly a century ago, Boys Town founder Father Edward Flanagan spoke these profound words: </p><p>" I … see danger for all in an ideology which discriminates against anyone politically or economically because he or she was born into the 'wrong' race, has skin of the 'wrong' color, or worships at the 'wrong' altar."</p><p>Today, America is at a crossroads. The dangerous ideology of racism Father Flanagan described then continues to exist today. </p><p>At Boys Town, we share the sadness of so many mourning the senseless killings due to violence and racism. We also share the anger that is sweeping our nation as we unequivocally condemn all forms of racism, hatred, and injustice that tear at the seams of our society.</p><p>When Father Flanagan opened his first Home for Boys in 1917, he welcomed kids of every race, color, and creed. But his efforts to be inclusive and compassionate in his care of children went far beyond creating a place where they could grow and thrive. Father Flanagan also recognized and rejected the laws and customs that enshrined and reinforced institutional racism. He passionately attacked those unfair laws and practices, shining a spotlight on prejudice and injustice, and using Boys Town as a model for the incredible possibilities that existed when people of all colors lived, worked, and played side by side in mutual respect and equality.</p><p><strong>Boys Town has never wavered from the principles on which it was founded. As a passionate advocate of positive social change, we firmly stand with those individuals and groups who have dedicated themselves to the cause of racial equality and justice, and strongly support their efforts to bring about lasting, significant change. </strong><strong> </strong></p><p>We have recognized since our formation that it is not enough to simply avoid racist behavior as individuals. We all must work together proactively to create a more just, a more peaceful, and a more equitable society. We all must live by the values of diversity and inclusion more deeply in the days, months, and years to come. We all must strive to re-create a society in which everyone feels that they belong, that they matter, and that they are respected for who they are.     </p><p>People have rediscovered their voice, and their pain and anger are being felt and heard. Boys Town adds its voice to this rising chorus with the fervent hope that racism, injustice, and prejudice can finally be vanquished.     </p><p>God's Blessings,</p><p>Father Steven E. Boes<br>President and National Executive Director, Boys Town</p>2020-06-17T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Father Flanagan" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Flanagan_with_Boys_1942_682-rollup.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Patrick Garcia Named as Executive Director of Boys Town Iowa Garcia Named as Executive Director of Boys Town Iowa<p>​​​​Boys Town is pleased to announce that Patrick Garcia has been named as Executive Director of Boys Town Iowa. </p><p>Pat has more than 30 years of experience in youth and family services, including 15 years of experience at Boys Town. In his role as Executive Director, Pat will lead and manage the operations of the Boys Town Iowa Site which currently provides s​ervices in over one-third of the state. He will be responsible for community outreach and advocacy, business planning, and the management and operation of Boys Town services throughout the state of Iowa. </p><p>“Pat’s knowledge of the Boys Town mission, his background in community outreach and his overall experience in the youth and family services sector make him ready to take this next step in his career,” said Barb Vollmer, Executive Vice President, Youth Care. “I look forward to seeing how he will continue to grow the Boys Town Iowa site and further our mission throughout the state of Iowa.” </p><p>Pat began his career at Boys Town in 1990 as an Assistant Family Teacher. He then served as a Family Teacher for eight years from 1992 – 2000. Before returning to Boys Town in 2014, Pat held a variety of leadership roles at Omaha Home for Boys and spent two years as President and CEO of Epworth Village in York, NE. Most recently, Pat served as the Community Outreach Developer for Boys Town Iowa where he established key political relationships and created business opportunities for the site. </p><p>In addition to his experience, Patrick holds a master’s degree in Human Services from Bellevue University and a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and The Family from the University of Nebraska – Omaha. </p><p>​Please congratulate Pat on his new position as Executive Director of Boys Town Iowa.<br></p>2020-03-05T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Pat-Garcia-Photo_web.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
The Holiday season at Boys Town Iowa Holiday season at Boys Town Iowa<p>​​​Boys Town Iowa received a very generous donation for the holiday season. Jeff Hackett and his church, St. Michael in Sioux City adopted thirty families for Christmas. Boys Town Iowa provided the church a list of items the children wanted and needed, and the congregation joined together to purchase these gifts. These gifts helped make Christmas a little easier for the families who received them. ​<br></p>2020-01-24T06:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
8th Annual Blue Water Bash Annual Blue Water Bash<span aria-hidden="true"> <p>The 8th annual Blue Water Bash took place on July 20, 2019 at the Boys Town Okoboji Camp and this year they made a splash by raising more than $175,000. </p> <p>The event hosted more than 300 guests with The Dixon Family Foundation as 175k the event Anchor Sponsor.</p> <p>Those in attendance enjoyed live and silent auctions, a game of heads or tails sponsored by Sazerac Distributors, the Boys Town graduation video and a speech from our chair, Joe Johns, whose dad was a 1963 Boys Town graduate. </p> <p>In his speech, Joe reflected on how the skills and examples his dad learned at Boys Town served as an instrumental roadmap for his life. </p> <p>"As the oldest of three boys growing up in the South Omaha projects in a broken home, my dad was robbed of his childhood," said Joe. "Boys Town offered my dad a safe haven, a solid foundation and stable environment, where he could foster relationships, focus on his schoolwork, and achieve success.  Boys Town molded my dad into a young man with a pathway to and vision of success.  Boys Town exposed my Dad to what is possible, and he went out and provided endless opportunities for me."</p> <p>This year's event also honored Knobby Meysenburg posthumously with the Wavemaker Award. The award recognized all of Knobby's contributions to the Boys Town community. Knobby was an employee for more than 40 years and ran the Okoboji camp from 1976 – 1992. He was a selfless individual who was always giving back. From teaching kids how to ski, to helping maintain the physical structure of the camp, Meysenburg was an instrumental part of the camp for many years. His wife, Betty Meysenburg, accepted the award on his behalf. </p> <p>The bash ended of the night with drinks, dancing and music by The Fishheads was kicked off with a rendition of "He Aint Heavy" by the Hollies. </p> <p>Boys Town extends a thank you to all the gracious donors and sponsors who contributed to this year's event which affords our youth and families the opportunity to experience a safe and memorable family vacation while helping to revitalize the existing camp facilities so they're safe and preserved to meet future needs.<br></p> <p> <img src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Annual-Blue-Water-Bash-July-20/BWB4.jpg" alt="Blue Water Bash Participants - Group Photo" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p></span>2019-09-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Blue Water Bash" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/BWB2.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent