Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

 

 

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 8th Annual Blue Water Bash Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 8th 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="BWB4.jpg" 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;" />Iowa;#Nebraska;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Tyson Foods Interns Gain Experience at Boys Town Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Tyson Foods Interns Gain Experience at Boys Town <p>This summer Boys Town Iowa hosted two interns from the Tyson Foods Summer Community Internship Program - Caitlin Makovicka from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa and Katie Gruhn from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.</p><p>This program provides full-time college students an eight-week paid summer internship to assist community organizations and gain experience with diverse social issues. Tyson Foods is underwriting the program in the Chicago area and in Sioux City, Storm Lake and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Campus Compact affiliates in Iowa and Illinois are overseeing and administering the program.</p><p>Caitlin is a junior majoring in social and behavioral science with a second major in general business. During the internship she shadowed Giannella Witt, In-Home Family Services<sup>® </sup>(IHFS) Consultant, Boys Town Iowa.</p><p>"I chose the career path of social work because I have a strong interest of helping people and making everyone feel loved and that they have a purpose," said Caitlin. "The social work field is a flexible career that gives me the opportunity to work in different environments and with different people.  Social work allows me to make a difference in my community."</p><p>Caitlin reflected on how the people she has met through this internship with Boys Town has been the most enjoyable part for her.</p><p>"From the first day that I started, my supervisor, Jenni DeBoer, and In-Home Family Consultant, Giannella Witt, have made me feel like I am part of the Boys Town family and not just an intern," said Caitlin. "The other members of the Boys Town team have also been very friendly and fun to get to know throughout the summer."</p><img src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pages/Tyson-Foods-Interns-Gain-Experience-at-Boys-Town/tyson2.jpg" alt="https://beacon.boystown.org/news/PublishingImages/Article-Thumb/Intern_Katie.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px 10px;width:190px;height:254px;" /><p>The other intern, Katie, is a sophomore majoring in social work. She chose this path because she wanted a career that gave her purpose. This summer she was mentored by IHFS consultant Tammy Russell.</p><p>During this internship, Katie has experienced firsthand just how rewarding a career in social services can be.</p><p>"The most enjoyable part of the internship was when I was able to witness families reuniting. Boys Town's focus is on the reunification of families and keeping kids in their homes. That may not always be possible, but when it is and it works it's an amazing feeling," said Katie.</p><p>The Tyson interns are right alongside with their Consultant in the field gaining perspective and skills they will need when they enter the field themselves. Along with learning new skills, interns at Boys Town also have the opportunity to learn about other services to address areas such as mental health, substance abuse, and domestic violence.  Some additional experiences include attending court hearings, family treatment court, family staffing, internal and community training, and family team meetings. </p><p>"I think Boys Town is a great place for the Tyson interns to gain experience as it gives these students a chance to be immersed in the position of an In-Home Family Services (IHFS) Consultant," said Jennifer DeBoer, Supervisor In-Home Family Services, Boys Town Iowa.</p><p>When asked what this internships has taught them both Caitlin and Katie mentioned how they have been able to see what the day-to-day operation of social work looks like and they can now use what they are learning in school and apply it to the real world.</p><p>"The experiences help to give a broader understanding of the work being completed and how their course work is put to use. This experience helps both the intern and our organization network for the present and future," said Gina Bullard, Supervisor IHFS, Boys Town Iowa. "The internship is a fantastic way to build relationships for future quality employees."<br></p>2019-08-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Tyson Foods" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/tyson.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Effort to canonize Boys Town founder Edward Flanagan reaches key milestone Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Effort to canonize Boys Town founder Edward Flanagan reaches key milestone <p>​The effort to have Servant of God Father Edward J. Flanagan canonized a saint took a step forward today with the presentation of the Positio to Congregation for the Causes of Saints, along with a letter of support from Archbishop George Lucas.<br><br><a href="https://www.omaha.com/news/metro/effort-to-canonize-boys-town-founder-edward-flanagan-reaches-key/article_abb43a73-7e5c-59aa-a62e-a7b67a0b4af1.html?fbclid=IwAR3a4lPKoGHPBfp9iCfbcb_biLC0dMs6kY0E3ps6Z05RTHb1myqLaIsyB0U" target="_blank">Read more in this article</a> published by the Omaha World-Herald on July 22, 2019. <br></p>2019-07-30T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Father Edward Flanagan" src="/about/PublishingImages/flanagan.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Father Edward Flanagan" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/canonization.jpg" width="300" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />All;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services Consultant Honored at Conference Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services Consultant Honored at Conference <p>On May 7, Kelly Manker, Boys Town Iowa In-Home Family Services (IHFS) Consultant, was recognized as one of the 2019 Prevent Child Abuse Iowa's Community Heroes at the Child Abuse Prevention and Family Support Conference in Ankeny, IA.</p><p>The recipients of this recognition are nominated by their supervisors and a planning committee selects the community hero from the pool of nominations.</p><p>"Kelly is someone who bends over backwards for his families. He does a great job at building strong relationships and takes the time to get to know the families on a personal level which makes them more comfortable and willing to open up," said Chris Jackson, Senior Director Program Operations, Boys Town Iowa. "He is super dedicated to Boys Town and always going the extra mile to help families and get them back together."</p><p>Kelly's work as an IHFS Consultant has gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to strengthen families and build hope in their lives to enhance the communities in which they live. </p><p>This conference was not only a great way to recognize Kelly Manker for his stellar work with children and families, but also provided Boys Town Iowa leadership with a platform to present helpful advice to the community of child abuse prevention supporters. Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, and Sonya Fittje, Common Sense Parenting Supervisor, presented on developing a successful parenting community, while Executive Director Debbie Orduna sat on a panel with Liz Cox for Prevent Child Abuse Iowa</p><p>Congratulations to Kelly and thank you to Pat, Sonya and Debbie for continuing the mission of saving children and healing families in the Iowa communities. </p><p><img src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/manker.jpg" alt="Boys Town Iowa Manker & Orduna" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>2019-07-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Boys Town Iowa Manker Orduna" src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/manker-and-orduna.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Celebrates Fathers at Community Event Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Celebrates Fathers at Community Event <p>Our founder Father Flanagan understood how important a father's role was to a child and their overall wellbeing. This is why he took in so many troubled youth. He understood that these boys were not bad they simply needed a strong role model to set them on the right path to a successful future. </p><p>Statistics show that lack of a father figure in the household can lead a child into poverty, behavioral problems, crime, school troubles or drug and alcohol abuse. </p><p>As part of Boys Town's mission to save children from these unfortunate circumstances we aim to take preventative actions by promoting the importance of healthy lifestyles and relationships within the family. That is why on June 8, Boys Town Iowa organized the 3<sup>rd</sup> Annual Fathers Matter Community Celebration at Iowa Western Community College. </p><p>The Fathers Matter Celebration strives to create a local movement of increased involvement of fathers in their children's lives. For this year's celebration Boys Town Iowa had some amazing community partners who came together to help make the event possible, including Pottawattamie County Sherriff's Office, Super Saver, Iowa Western Community College and the Charles E. Lankin YMCA. The event also had the support of over 70 gracious volunteers. </p><p>The event was filled with several activities for the entire family, including a fire hydrant party, a magic show, a corvette show and over 35 family fun booths. </p><p>"Fathers Matter is a platform to energize the metropolitan area to support fathers in their quest to stay connected and engaged with their children. By creating a movement within the community that values the consecutiveness and engagement of fathers as a whole, it allows for better co-parenting and compromise amongst parents regardless if they are intact couples or living separately. This in turn creates better childhoods for children and enhances their overall success in life," said Pat Garcia, Community Engagement Developer, Boys Town Iowa. </p><p>Thank you to everyone in the community who made this event possible for fathers to come out and enjoy some quality time with their children to help build healthy, long-lasting relationships. </p><p>If individuals are interested in volunteering for this event next year, please contact Patrick Garcia at <a href="mailto:Patrick.garcia@boystown.org">Patrick.garcia@boystown.org</a></p>2019-06-25T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Celebrate Fathers" src="/locations/iowa/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Fathers-banner-page.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Council Bluffs Police Win This Year’s Healthy Families Drive Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Council Bluffs Police Win This Year’s Healthy Families Drive <p>Boys Town Iowa and the Council Bluffs community participated in the 4<sup>th</sup> annual Drive for Healthy Families all month long in April. </p><p>Many families that Boys Town Iowa serves struggle with chemical dependency, mental health or family dysfunction. This drive helps alleviate the financial and mental stress of coming up with enough money for cleaning and hygiene products. By providing families with these items the parents can focus on working through their addictions and mental health in order to keep their children from being removed from the home. </p><p>Every year the Council Bluffs Fire Department (CBFD) and the Council Bluffs Police Department (CBPD) face off in a friendly competition to see who can collect the most items for Boys Town Iowa during this drive. </p><p>The drive culminates in a "weigh-off" event at the Boys Town Iowa office to see which team is the winner. </p><p>During the event, one mother shared her story of how her life has changed in the past year thanks to Boys Town continuously believing in her; she will be starting law school in the fall. A second mother shared a heart-wrenching story of how Boys Town is currently supporting her as she heals from addiction so she can become the best mother to her two children. These are the families that the Healthy Families Drive directly impacts. </p><p>This year the drive amassed 8,000 pounds of donations between both teams. For the second year in a row the CBPD came out on top with 4,005 pounds of donations for Team Blue.  </p><p> <img src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-2.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin:5px 1rem 5px 0px;width:233px;height:310px;" />"On behalf of our department this is a wonderful opportunity. These are the kinds of partnerships that really help our community grow. Council Bluffs is a wonderful place. There are so many helpful people and this drive is a perfect example of that," said Tim Carmody, Council Bluff Police Chief.</p><p>The CBFD also did an excellent job in receiving donations, raising a total of 3,700 pounds. The Council Bluffs firefighter who received the second place trophy on behalf of the department had a statement that fully encompasses the light-hearted competition of this drive by saying, "This is an event that second place is okay for me. Everybody is a winner when we all pitch-in together and help our children." </p><p>The amount of donations received by both the fire and police department in this drive will have a lasting impact on hundreds of families in the community. </p><p><img src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-3.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:401px;" />"There was a lot of giving prior to the drive, everyone was giving to those in need from the floods. It is <em>amazing</em> that we were able to raise just under 8,000 pounds. It was very moving to see the willingness of the community to give so much," said Pat Garcia, Boys Town Iowa Community Engagement Developer.  </p><p>This year's outstanding partners are St. Alberts Schools collecting 2,025 pounds and Jensen Auto having barrels in 19 of their stores across Omaha and Council Bluffs collecting a total of 1,140 pounds. Some other honorable mentions for their support in this drive are Franklin Elementary, Google and Super Saver. </p><p>Big thank you to everyone who helped organize and participate in this year's Drive for Healthy Families. Despite the Midwest's disastrous flooding the amount raised shows just how dedicated people are to Boys Town's mission of caring for children and families.<br></p>2019-05-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" height="218" src="/locations/iowa/PublishingImages/Bluffs-Police-Win-1.jpg" width="290" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Employee Receives Tom Lewis Memorial Award Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Iowa Employee Receives Tom Lewis Memorial Award <p>Mike VanBeest, Boys Town Iowa Family Consultant, received the Tom Lewis Memorial Award in acknowledgement of the work he has done for children and families of the Iowa community. The award is presented by the Coalition for Family & Children's Services in Iowa during the Champions for Children Award Reception held in Des Moines, Iowa. </p><p>"We are thrilled and honored to have one of our own receive this award," said Chris Jackson, Boys Town Iowa Senior Director. "Mike is a positive role model and is dedicated to the families he helps in Iowa. Mike truly cares about the success of each family he works with and wants the best for them."  </p><p>Every year, the Coalition selects a number of individuals from different agencies across Iowa who serve children and families. The Tom Lewis Memorial Award recognizes a person who has shown outstanding dedication, longevity and diversity in duties to those they serve. </p><p>Mike began his career as a police officer in Harlan, Iowa. He moved to Sioux City to continue his police officer duties until 2011. Prior to joining Boys Town Iowa, Mike worked in Family Safety, Risk, and Permanency Services for the Sioux City area. One task has remained the same throughout Mike's career on the police force and working in social services, the duty of saving families and children. </p><p>Mike was awarded this honor because of his compassion for children and families and his innate ability to problem solve and engage well with the families he serves. He is "solution focused" in his approach to his work with families. With his colleagues, Mike is always eager to go the extra mile to ensure success. He is a team member committed to supporting staff in their career.</p><p>"I am very honored to be nominated and receive such a prestigious award. I wouldn't be where I am without all my former and current co-workers, friends and family who have given me guidance and inspiration," said Mike. "I am truly blessed to work for such an outstanding organization that makes a difference in so many people's lives." </p><p>Boys Town would like to recognize other employees that were nominated for awards at the reception: </p><ul><li>Sue Pitts-Fischer Award nominees: Heather Anderson and Destiny Jorgensen </li><li>Al Schulte Award nominees<strong>:</strong> Lacy Dube and Shana Michalski </li><li>Tom Lewis Award nominee: Grace Pellot</li></ul><p>Congratulations Mike on receiving the Tom Lewis award and to the other nominees for keeping Father Flanagan's mission of changing the way America cares for children and families.<br></p>2019-04-16T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Mike TL Award" src="/blog/PublishingImages/Mike_TLAward.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Iowa;#text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent