Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

 

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 10th Annual Fine Wine & Hors D’ouevres Fundraiser October 4th Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 10th Annual Fine Wine & Hors D’ouevres Fundraiser October 4th <p> <span style="background-color:transparent;">​The Southwest Omaha Rotary Night Club invites you to their tenth annual "Fine Wine and Hors D'oeuvres" on Thursday, October 4th! Get your </span><a href="https://www.crsadmin.com/EventPortal/Registrations/PublicFill/EventPublicFill.aspx?evtid=91ed1b1d-b113-4624-b181-2c114572141e" style="background-color:transparent;">tickets today</a><span style="background-color:transparent;">! All proceeds will benefit the Boys Town National Hotline.</span><br></p><p>This business casual event will feature a wine tasting as well as live and silent auctions at A View on State.</p><p>Tickets are $50. To register online, please go to <a href="https://www.crsadmin.com/EventPortal/Registrations/PublicFill/EventPublicFill.aspx?evtid=91ed1b1d-b113-4624-b181-2c114572141e">omaharotarynight.org</a>. If you have any questions, please contact Erin Oberhauser with the Southwest Omaha Rotary Group at 402-677-1883 or <span style="text-decoration:underline;"><a href="mailto:realtorerin@me.com">realtorerin@me.com</a></span>.</p><p> </p><h2>Date: <br></h2><p>      Thursday, October 4, 2018<br></p><h2>Time:<br></h2><p>      6 - 9 p.m.<br></p><h2>Location:</h2><p>    A View on State <br>    13467 State St.<br>    Omaha, NE 68142 </p>2018-10-04T05:00:00ZEventNebraska;#

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town joins county juvenile program Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town joins county juvenile program <p><em>This article was posted on <a href="https://fremonttribune.com/cass-news/news/boys-town-joins-county-juvenile-program/article_097eb53d-1f11-5ea0-aeb0-c1795eaace03.html">fremonttribune.com </a> August 7, 2018.</em></p><p>PLATTSMOUTH—Cass County has a program aimed at early diversion of at-risk juveniles back on the right track of life.</p><p>And, on Tuesday morning, its Board of Commissioners signed an agreement with a world famous organization to help in this cause.</p><p>Father Flanagan's Boys Home, also known as Boys Town, will provide services to keep juveniles in school.</p><p>"Truancy is a big problem," said County Attorney S. Colin Palm. "We're trying to find effective ways to deal with it."</p><p>This is the first year the county will use Boys Town as one of its providers for various services for pre-adjudicated and/or juveniles enrolled in county diversion programs, according to Megan Duncan, diversion director. Boys Town has a good reputation and has professionals available 24 hours a day, she said.</p><p>Besides seeking Boys Town's help in keeping juveniles in school, the county also has agreements with two other agencies for their expertise. Owens Educational Services of Omaha provides tracking and electronic monitoring, while Heartland Family Services of Papillion offers crisis management teams to keep juveniles in the home when a crisis does occur.</p><p>The county has a $91,000 grant from the Nebraska Crime Commission for paying these agencies for their services.</p><p>"We're trying to do everything we can on the front end," Palm said. "If we can divert these kids early on, it increases our odds we won't see them later on."</p><p>On another matter, the commissioners approved the continuation of a long-standing agreement between the county and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for child support enforcement.</p><p>The enforcement comes out of the county attorney's office, which has one full-time individual dealing with enforcement, along with help when possible by an attorney there, according to Palm. Last year, his office had a budget of $46,107 to pay for that individual and supplies, according to Palm. The state also reimburses the county for providing this service that has to be done by someone, he said.</p>2018-08-20T05:00:00ZNewsNebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town 2018 Blue Water Bash exceeds fundraising goal Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town 2018 Blue Water Bash exceeds fundraising goal <p> <em>This article was posted on <a href="http://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2540891.html" target="_blank">spencerdailyreporter.com</a>; July 30, 2018.</em></p><p>While organizers were still tallying donation totals Sunday night, Boys Town development officer Melissa Steffes confirmed the Seventh Annual Boys Town Blue Water Bash exceeded fundraising goals to raise $150,000 and net $100,000. The event welcomed more than 300 guests and featured speakers, live music by the Jonah and the Whales and a live auction. Funds raised from the event will be used to support the operating costs of the Boys Town Camp in Okoboji. (Above) Katie Thompson, high school junior Boys Town participant; Suzie Wilmot, volunteer co-chair of the 2018 Blue Water Bash; Lizzy Walton, high school senior Boys Town participant; and Eva Shine, volunteer co-chair of the 2018 Blue Water Bash, enjoyed the party together Saturday evening.</p> <br> <table><tbody><tr><td><p><img src="/parenting/questions-and-answers/PublishingImages/BWB2.jpg" alt="Blue Water Bash" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="padding-right:15px;width:380px;height:auto;" />Blue Water Bash guests Cecily Haggerty and Reagan Rosenberg discussed one of the live auction items, a trip to Florida.<br></p></td></tr></tbody></table> <br> <table><tbody><tr><td> <p> <img src="/parenting/questions-and-answers/PublishingImages/BWB.jpg" alt="Blue Water Bash" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin-right:15px;width:380px;height:auto;" />The O'Brien family was instrumental in founding the Blue Water Bash when it started seven years ago, the family; Peg (O'Brien) Reit, Tom O'Brien and Mary Ann O'Brien came together to celebrate what the camp has accomplished so far.</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align:left;"> <span style="background-color:transparent;"><br></span></p><p style="text-align:left;"> <span style="background-color:transparent;">Photos by Colin Van Westen<br></span></p> <br>2018-08-01T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Blue Water Bash" src="/parenting/questions-and-answers/PublishingImages/BWB1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Saving Children, Healing Families’ — Blue Water Bash around the corner Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Saving Children, Healing Families’ — Blue Water Bash around the corner <p><em></em><a href="https://www.spencerdailyreporter.com/story/2537836.html" target="_blank"><em>This article was posted on spencerdailyreporter.com July 15, 2018.</em></a></p><p> Every summer, Boys Town youth and families are given the opportunity to enjoy their summer vacations on the sandy shores of the Boys Town Okoboji Camp on the waters of West Okoboji. This summer, Jeff and Misty Sweezy, their two biological sons, Lynux, 14, and Zander, 12 — and their six Boys Town sons, had the opportunity to enjoy the camp. For five of the six boys, in the Boys Town program, it was the first time at the lakeside recreation center.</p><p>"This is the first vacation some of these kids have ever been on," Misty Sweezy said. "We want them to learn how to enjoy themselves. The kids start getting excited and talking about this trip in April. June each year the kids start coming."</p><p>The Seventh Annual Blue Water Bash, scheduled for Saturday, July 28, helps provide funding to support the campers visits as well as the infrastructure and maintenance of the Boys Town Okoboji Camp. The event will feature a cocktail reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. on-site, with an evening including a silent and live auction and music by Jonah and the Whales.</p><p>"They needed to raise money for the camp so they started the Blue Water Bash," said Jeff Sweezy, calling the event "extremely important" for the future of the Boys Town summer visits.</p><p>"The generous community of Okoboji has stepped up, year after year, to support the Blue Water Bash which has enabled Boys Town to renovate and preserve our camp for future generations of Boys Town youth and family-teachers to enjoy." said Melissa Steffes, Boys Town development officer. "We are so grateful to our sponsors and guests for their support of Boys Town and our Okoboji Camp."</p><p>Eva Shine, a neighbor to the Boys Town Camp, is co-chairing this year's Blue Water Bash with Suzie Wilmot.</p><p>"We are very excited for this year's event which benefits the camp, allowing many children in need of a chance at a once in a life time vacation in Okoboji," Shine said</p><p>She continued, "The Boys Town children have endured many struggles and crises beyond what most of us can imagine — abuse, abandonment, addiction, violence. Boys Town sees the potential in these children and believes every child deserves a future. The children have the opportunity to earn the reward of attending the Okoboji camp. Some of these children have never had a vacation, let alone owned a swimsuit. We are all so lucky to live in and enjoy the Iowa Great Lakes region. I think it is important to help those who aren't as lucky to have a chance at a break from their everyday struggles."</p><p>According to Steffes, the last two years Blue Water Bash have grossed $110,000 and netted approximately $72,000.</p><p>"This year our goal is to raise $150,000 and net $100,000," she added.</p><p>"We continue to make improvements in order to update the facility to make it more appealing to the neighbors in this beautiful neighborhood and to make it a more enjoyable place for the children in our care," said Rev. Steven Boes, Boys Town national executive director. "Many Boys Town kids have never been camping or on family vacations and this is a wonderful, fun and memorable experience for them. Many of our Boys Town alumni have expressed to me that this was some of the most fun they had, besides Christmas holidays, at Boys Town."</p><p>The Sweezys aren't strangers to the Okoboji site, the two met in the 1990s at Boys Town before marrying in 2002. They are the first married couple serving as family teachers who are both products of the program.</p><p>Young people come to Boys Town through three different avenues in most cases, privately placed, foster care or court placed.</p><p>Jeff Sweezy came to Boys Town in 1995 as a sixth-grade student when his mother struggled after his father passed away. Misty Sweezy joined Boys Town in her eighth-grade year in 1997, along with three siblings, after her parents passed away. They didn't know each other until their senior year of high school when they became friends. The two married in 2002, following graduation and prior to Jeff Sweezy's deployment with the U.S. Army.</p><p>After completing his military career, the two returned to Omaha hoping to become involved with Boys Town once again. Misty Sweezy went to work at Boys Town in staff positions. They had hoped to serve as family teachers but their application was rejected.</p><p>"It's tough to get hired," Misty Sweezy said. "Initially they said it was too soon, we had just graduated. We were hurt."</p><p>In hindsight, they both agreed Boys Town knew what it was doing.</p><p>"We matured," Jeff Sweezy said. "We got our marriage strong."</p><p>The family moved to Florida in 2009 before returning to Omaha in 2015 and getting hired as family teachers.</p><p>"It's difficult to do what we do — live together, work together," Jeff Sweezy said. "If your marriage is not strong, it can tear you apart."</p><p>Boys Town, which celebrated its 100-year anniversary in 2017, includes 75 homes, an elementary and middle school, high school and public services. In the late 1970s, Boys Town was opened up to girls and in the 1980s satellite sites opened.</p><p>"We provide a family home environment," Misty Sweezy said. "They have chores and rules. We teach social skills, accepting decisions, how to express feelings.</p><p>She continued, "We get the kid and figure out what area they are struggling with. We set goals for them. There are always goals they are trying to reach. And there are a lot of goals they achieve."</p><p>"We treat everyone of these kids as if they are our own," Jeff Sweezy said.</p><p>The Sweezys recently had three boys graduate high school and currently maintain their home in Boys Town with the six boys ranging in age from 14 to 18. The couple receives help from an assistant family teacher who works five days a week, logging 45 hours and allows them two days off each week.</p><p>A bill of $90, in the winter of 1917, was enough for Rev. Edward Flanagan to rent out a boarding house in Omaha after working with the area's homeless population. Flanagan's Home for Boys became what is now known as Boys Town, a nonprofit which helps to foster better lives for at-risk youth.</p><p>Jeff Sweezy said Flannagan was assisting those with life challenges when one of those men in his care suggested to him things might have been different "if you had got me when I was younger."</p><p>He said it was that train of thought which prompted the priest to begin working with five boys in 1917.</p><p>The Catholic priest introduced the children to rules and responsibility while allowing them to keep their personal religion. Unlike many reform schools at the time, Flannagan believed there was more to dealing with the children than just making them work, according to Jeff Sweezy.</p><p>"The president sent him to Europe to teach how to care for children differently," Jeff Sweezy said. "He became a pioneer in how to care for children. ... He taught them how to become productive members of society after Boys Town."</p><p>It's those principles, 100 years later, which lead Boys Town today — fulfilling its motto, "Saving Children, Healing Families." Still based in Omaha, Nebraska, the camp, which was once located on the outskirts of the city, is now at the center of the community.</p><p>The Boys Town Okoboji Camp, situated in the Terrace Park neighborhood of Okoboji, was gifted to Boys Town in 1952 with the hope of serving countless youth to come. It has since provided Boys Town youth and families with a fun filled summer at the lake. Originally a casino and night club built in 1923, it became a famous landmark because of its location in upscale Terrace Park. A 1936 tornado practically destroyed the surrounding subdivision and the rebuilding process was very slow. In 1939 Dr. H.O. Green and his wife gave the facility to the Catholic congregation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of LaSalette. The ballroom and open porches were renovated to make the building a seminary and became classrooms, dormitories and a chapel. The seminary became a boys camp in 1941, but was soon vacated by the LaSalettes and left empty. In 1952 the property was given to Boys Town in conjunction with the Green's wish that it serve the needs of youth.</p><p>Corporate and company sponsorships for the Blue Water Bash are available and tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at <a href="/Okoboji" target="_blank">boystown.org/Okoboji</a> or by calling Melissa Steffes at 402-498-1795.</p>2018-07-24T05:00:00ZNewsIowa;#Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Honorary Street Naming Recognizes Boys Town Trustee Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Honorary Street Naming Recognizes Boys Town Trustee <p> <em> </em> <a href="http://fox42kptm.com/news/local/honorary-street-naming-recognizes-boys-town-trustee" target="_blank"> <em>This article was posted on fox42kptm.com on June 22, 2018.</em></a></p> <p>A man who devotes so much time to the Boys Town mission got quite the recognition Friday.</p><p>Boys Town trustee Bob Batt got a street named after him; Batt Boulevard is the new name of Mahoney Road on campus.</p><p>It's right between the baseball and football fields.</p><p>OMAHA, Neb. — A man who devotes so much time to the Boys Town mission got quite the recognition Friday.</p><p>Boys Town trustee Bob Batt got a street named after him; Batt Boulevard is the new name of Mahoney Road on campus.</p><p>It's right between the baseball and football fields.</p><p>"I'm here all the time, and it's just an honor," Batt said. "And do you know who it's really an honor for? My parents, who brought me up right."</p><p>Officials say they rarely do something like this.</p><p>The Boys Town mayor was there as well as members of the Boys Town baseball team.</p>2018-07-03T05:00:00ZNewsNebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town and Heartland Workforce Solutions Host Block Party for Harmony Week Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town and Heartland Workforce Solutions Host Block Party for Harmony Week <p>The fifth annual Ames Ave. Block Party took place on Friday, June 1 as part of Omaha 360's Harmony Week. Boys Town and Heartland Workforce Solutions teamed up to plan and host another wonderful year of community fun!</p><p>About 800 community members engaged in this year's block party. People could enjoy food, bounce houses, balloon twisting and lots of prizes at this fun-filled family event. Some highlights from this year's block party were a raffle of 10 bikes from the Goodwill Industries, a personal appearance by " The Godfather" from our corporate partners Godfather's Pizza and a children's dance contest.</p><p>"The purpose of this event is to promote Omaha 360's Harmony Week and it's aimed at reducing barriers for parents and youth to obtain the resources they need in the North Omaha community," said Melissa Steffes, Boys Town Community Engagement Development Officer. "This is also a great way to promote positive activities that children in the community can get involved in."</p><p>Events like this would not be the success that they are if it was not for the generous sponsors: First National Bank of Omaha, Bank of the West, United Healthcare® and Centris Federal Credit Union.  </p><p>The event was also well provided for by several generous In-kind sponsors: Godfather's Pizza, Inc®, PepsiCo™, Dr. Pepper®, Big Mama's Kitchen and Catering, Hardy Coffee Co., Jimmy John's Enterprises LLC, Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers® and Frito-Lay™.</p><p>This event continues to have an amazing turn out and it has grown to collaborate with more community partners throughout the years, such as North Omaha Adolescent Health (NOAH), Heart Ministries, The Hope Center and Goodwill Industries, who will host next year's Block Party.</p><p>Boys Town extends a big thank you to all of the volunteers  who got involved with this year's block party to help bring together the community of North Omaha - your effort and time is what makes events like this so  worthwhile and fun.<br></p>2018-06-25T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Block Party" src="/parenting/questions-and-answers/PublishingImages/BlockParty_12_jpg.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Voice Choir and Color Guard Participate in National Anthem at College World Series Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Voice Choir and Color Guard Participate in National Anthem at College World Series <p>On June 18, the Boys Town choir, Voices of Boys Town, and the Boys Town Color Guard opened game 5 of the College World Series® in Omaha with the flag ceremony and Star Spangled Banner. The College World Series draws hundreds of thousands of people together to celebrate achievement in the game of baseball. For more than 20 years, the Voices and Color Guard have participated in National Anthem at one game during the series. This is a tradition Boys Town looks forward to every summer and a great opportunity to bring awareness of Boys Town to many people from across the country.</p><div class="inset-cont"><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C5pBNrf9Sqc?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div> </div>2018-06-18T05:00:00ZNewsNebraska;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Graduation Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Graduation <p>For​ many, Boys Town becomes a home, a school and a support system for young boys and girls across the nation. Graduation marks a new beginning for the students who came from all over with many different backgrounds and circumstances. These students have lacked the advantages that many other high schoolers receive and now Boys Town sends them on their way with a diploma and new skills to achieve great things.</p><p>This year 108 students graduated from Boys Town High School on Sunday, May 20, 2018. The ceremony was held in Boys Town Music Hall at 1:30 p.m. where the graduates' friends, families and teachers gathered to celebrate their successes. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts also came to celebrate this milestone with the students.  About 65 percent will attend a two-year or four-year college program, most will join the work force and a few will go into the Job Corps and/or Military.</p><p>A 2018 graduate, Gerald, stood before his peers to speak about how special a place like Boys Town is and how the relationships formed are unlike any other high school. He spoke of the importance of supporting each other regardless of their differences in order to achieve success each day.</p><p>"Boys Town has given us all the resources, knowledge and skills to be great," ​said Gerald. "So now it's up to us all to put them to use, to make the best out of what life throws at us."</p><p>Let's take a moment to celebrate the Boys Town High School Class of 2018. Their determination has brought them to this moment in life and thanks to the support of Boys Town these students have been given the opportunity to see the potential that lies in each and every one of them.​</p>2018-06-06T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Graduation2018.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Nebraska;#