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Boys Town in the News: Hurricane Ida Evacuation Town in the News: Hurricane Ida Evacuation<p>​​On September 4th, youth from Boys Town Louisiana arrived at Boys Town Nebraska to continue their care away from the destruction left by Hurricane Ida. Read and watch how Hurricane Ida has brought these two communities together.<br></p><p style="text-align:center;"> <strong>Nebraska and New Orleans connect over hurricane (WOWT)</strong><br><em class="ms-rteFontSize-2">This article was written by Brent Weber. It was posted on <a href="" target="_blank"></a> on September 17, 2021.</em><br><a href="" target="_blank"><img src="/locations/louisiana/news-and-events/PublishingImages/la-hurricane-evac-wowt.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /></a><br></p><p style="text-align:center;"> <strong>‘It really has impacted them’: 24 Boys Town kids displaced due to Hurricane Ida (KETV)</strong><br><span class="ms-rteFontSize-2"><em>This article was written published by and posted on <a href="" target="_blank">​</a> on September 21, 2021.</em><br></span></p><p style="text-align:center;"> <a href="" target="_blank"><img src="/locations/louisiana/news-and-events/PublishingImages/la-hurricane-evac-ketv.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" />​</a><br></p>2021-09-24T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="" src="/locations/louisiana/news-and-events/PublishingImages/la-hurricane-evac-sml-bnr.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/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
Boys Town holds groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate construction of new school Town holds groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate construction of new school<p>​<em style="background-color:transparent;">This article is written by Danielle Meadows. It was posted on </em><a href="" style="background-color:transparent;"><em></em></a><em style="background-color:transparent;"> on September 2, 2021.​</em></p><p>OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We're getting a better idea of what the new high school at Boys Town will look like.</p><p>The new three-story facility will house "all students" on campus, including the students currently in the high school and Wegner school buildings.</p><p>Officials broke ground on the property today.</p><p>Boys Town and community leaders celebrated saying bringing all of the students together under one roof is wonderful and the facility takes an innovative approach to education.</p><p>"A functional, efficient and flexible learning environment with technology helps reduce the stress and promotes the success of our students. This architectural design was spent many, many hours incorporating suggestions from our students, faculty and too many groups to mention."<br></p><p>The old high school was built in 1948 and desperately needed to be updated.</p><p>Boys Town says the needs of children have changed since then, which is why a new high school needed to be built.</p><p>Watch the groundbreaking ceremony <a href="" target="_blank">here​</a>.<br></p>2021-09-10T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Groundbreaking" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Groundbreaking.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
10th Annual Blue Water Bash Annual Blue Water Bash<p>The 10th annual Blue Water Bash took place on July 24, 2021 hosting more than 300 guests at the Boys Town Okoboji Camp and this year they made a splash by raising more than $200,000.</p><p>Those in attendance enjoyed live and silent auctions, a game of heads or tails sponsored by Sazerac Distributors, remarks from our event co-chairs, Melissa Jensen and Barry Sackett, and Boys Town Class of 2015 Alum, Holly Schumacher.</p><p>In her speech, Holly recalled the day she came to Boys Town in 2014 “feeling angry, resentful and all alone." After a few months went by, Holly “felt important when I was at Boys Town. The weight of trying to fit in, or grudges with my family were slowly bring lifted." She told how her trip to Okoboji with her Boys Town family helped her realize the love she had for her own family. </p><p>“I'm here speaking to you all today because I believe so strongly in what Boys Town does for every child there," said Holly. “Regardless of their upbringing or what brought them there, and regardless of what they're trying to fix. Boys Town heals. It saved my family and who I was meant to be."</p><p>This year's event kicked off with a memorial prayer on the Boys Town beach for Bash Co-Founder Peg O'Brien Reit.  Former Family Teacher Lori Mathsen was honored posthumously along with her family with the “Wavemaker" Award. The award recognized all of the Family's contributions to the Boys Town community in their 30 years as Family Teachers.</p><p>The bash ended of the night with drinks, dancing and music by The Fishheads was kicked off with a rendition of "He Ain't Heavy" by the Hollies. Boys Town Historian, Tom Lynch, gave a brief history of the song. </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.</p><p>If you were not able to attend, it isn't too late to still <a href="" target="_blank">make a donation</a> this year or to learn more about our event. Supporters and donors like you help fund camp expenses, including food, supplies, upgrades and equipment. But there are many other ways you can support Boys Town, including sharing your time, talent and treasure. To learn more, please reach out to <a href=""></a>.</p> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="#"> <p>Please click on the image below to view the gallery.</p> <img class="spec-border" alt="10th Annual Blue Water Bash" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bwb-outside.jpg" /> </a> <p></p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bwb-tent.jpg" title="10th Annual Blue Water Bash"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bwb-party.jpg" title="10th Annual Blue Water Bash"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bwb-pic.jpg" title="10th Annual Blue Water Bash"> </a> </div>2021-08-02T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="10th Annual Blue Water Bash" src="/locations/nebraska/news-and-events/PublishingImages/bwb-couple.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Syracuse Junior High Student Council Keeps 15-Year Boys Town Streak Alive Junior High Student Council Keeps 15-Year Boys Town Streak Alive<p>For the second consecutive year, COVID-19 kept the Syracuse Junior High Student Council from making its annual Spring trip to Boys Town. But, just like the previous year, that didn't stop the group from keeping its streak alive.</p><p>Due to the extraordinary and unprecedented challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, this spring's tour had to be canceled. But while student council sponsor Sallie Agena and her students couldn't be on Home Campus in person, they made sure the part of the visit they felt was very important – a donation to Boys Town – continued.</p><p>Over the past 14 years, the Syracuse Junior High Student Council has generously given a total of $6,500 to the Home. This year, Agena delivered a check for $500 to keep the school's streak of supporting Boys Town alive, and it pushed their 15-year total to $7,000.</p><p>"It is up to our kids to decide where they want to go for their yearly field trip, and where they want to donate the money they have raised over the school year," Agena said. "Ever since our first visit back in 2007, Boys Town has left an impression on our students. They have learned what Boys Town does for children – children that they have learned are just like them. And, they have learned a lot about the Home. Most importantly, they brought that message back to their classmates and it has created a great feeling for Boys Town."</p><p>Over the years, the group would visit a Family Home, Wegner Middle School and the High School, Palrang Field House, the Hall of History, the Headquarters building and Dowd Chapel. A highlight of the tour was a personal meeting and taking a group photo with Father Steven Boes, Boys Town's President and National Executive Director.</p><p>This year, Agena wrote a letter to Father Boes and said she and the Syracuse students are excited to see Boys Town's new Education Center in the future.</p><p>"Your organization has been nothing but a great giver that has helped countless numbers of children and families by giving them hope for a better future," Agena wrote. "The services provided at Boys Town are valuable and necessary. What an exciting project to ensure that all of your students receive the education they so deserve." </p><p>Agena said one thing that always stays with her students is the social skills Boys Town youth learn and use as part of their daily care. </p><p>"When every Boys Town child makes eye contact, introduces themselves and shakes your hand, it leaves a lasting impression," she said. "Every year on our ride home, our kids comment on how the Boys Town youth are nothing like they expected. It gives them a special feeling of what is happening on your campus." </p><p>Agena said she hopes her group can resume its visits next spring. </p><p>"Hopefully, next year the conditions will allow for us to continue this wonderful opportunity for our students," she said.</p>​<br>2021-07-22T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Syracuse Donation" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Syracuse-Donation.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="syracuse donation" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/Syracuse-Donation.jpeg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Gavin Smith Signs with Peru State Cross Country Smith Signs with Peru State Cross Country​<p> <strong>​Peru State cross country coach James Cole recently announced that Gavin William Smith (Omaha, Neb.) signed his national letter of intent to run cross country for the Bobcats this fall.</strong><br><em> </em><br><em>This article was written and posted by Peru State Athletics </em><a href=""><em>Tuesday, May 25th 2021.</em></a></p><p>Peru State cross country coach <a href=""><em>James Cole</em></a> recently announced that Gavin William Smith <strong>(Omaha, Neb.) </strong>signed his national letter of intent to run cross country for the Bobcats this fall.<br> <br>Smith is the son of Crystal and Douglas Smith. He has recently graduated from Boys Town High School in Omaha.<br> <br>The co-captain, national honors society member, and peer minister, Smith, had a great high school career. He was a two-time state qualifier for the Nebraska School Activities Association Class C Cross Country Championships. This past fall, Smith finished 18<sup>th</sup> overall with a time of 17:24.4. The previous fall, Smith finished 65<sup>th</sup>with a time of 18:41.2.</p><p>Smith received some awards and accolades throughout his high school career at Boys Town including MVP of the cross country team and earning the Boys Town Competing with Character award, which is awarded to one female and one male every year.<br> <br>Smith had a 3.9 GPA and will receive the Chancellors Scholarship in addition to his cross country scholarship. He plans on majoring in pre-nursing in the fall.<br> <br>Coach Cole commented, "Gavin holds the school's boys 5k record with a 16:41.9 set at their 2020 C-1 District meet at DC West. He is currently competing in track and field in the one mile and two mile and doing very well. All the while, Gavin has stayed humble and I know he will be a great addition to the PSC roster."​<br></p>2021-06-10T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Peru state" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/peru.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> <img alt="Peru State" src="/locations/nebraska/PublishingImages/peru.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />text/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent
Brush With Law Becomes North Omaha Family’s Blessing With Law Becomes North Omaha Family’s Blessing<p>Games, gossip, good food and bad movies. Just your average teenage slumber party… until a few of the girls snuck out to a nearby convenience store and attempted to run off with a bottle of booze. The party was over when police arrived.</p><p>Seventeen-year-old Mara and her friends landed in the juvenile justice system. The Douglas County Juvenile Assessment Center referred Mara and her family to Boys Town so they could receive appropriate intervention services. The family benefitted </p><p>from several Boys Town programs, including In-Home Family Services and LIFT Together, which empower struggling families by providing them the counseling, guidance, skills and resources they need to thrive.</p><p>For Mara’s mom, Lizette, the intervention was a much welcomed blessing.</p><p>Her daughter’s brush with the law was just one of multiple challenges the family faced. Lizette worked long hours, seven days a week, leaving her little time to supervise and parent Mara, 15-year-old Ella, and baby Noah. The girls were often left to parent themselves while also caring for their little brother. The burden and stress were simply too much.</p><p>Lizette and Mara had a particularly fraught relationship. Neverending arguments and constant shouting had left them angry, frustrated and exhausted. Their conflicts always erupted around the same issues: Mara’s failing grades and Mara’s pregnancy.</p><p>There was much turmoil and heartache in the home when the Boys Town Consultant arrived to help Lizette and her children. The Consultant worked quickly to identify community resources the family could tap into for extra support, such as an early child development program and a mentorship program for Mara and Ella. In addition, the Consultant’s warm and reassuring presence gave the sisters the courage to join teen support groups where they talked with peers experiencing similar struggles. The girls realized they weren’t alone and found renewed hope.</p><p>One of the biggest stressors on the family involved school. During the height of the pandemic, Mara struggled with the logistics and discipline required for remote learning. She was failing all her classes. When in-school instruction resumed, Mara was scared for her safety and the safety of her unborn child. Several classmates had threatened her, so she refused to go back.</p><p>The Consultant reached out to the Omaha Street School, an alternative education program for at-risk youth, and helped Mara enroll. The school’s smaller environment, support systems, individualized attention and therapy services were exactly what the expectant mom needed. Mara now “loves” school. The Consultant also helped Mara and Ella establish homework routines and a structured learning space at home so they could more easily focus on their studies.</p><p>As for Lizette, despite her demanding schedule, she eagerly put into practice the parenting skills the Consultant taught her. Lizette adopted time-management strategies and communication techniques that allowed her to engage more successfully with her daughters and school staff.</p><p>Throughout the intervention, the family drew courage and strength from their faith which carried them through the hardest days. And as they experienced more success in school and at home, the family’s confidence grew. They felt empowered and wanted to continue to learn and grow, which led to even more success. Lizette praised Boys Town for her family’s transformation.</p><p>“Boys Town gave me, as a single mother, a lot of support and hope, built my faith and blessed me,” Lizette said.</p><p>Today, the family bonds remain strong. While heated arguments occasionally pop up, they’re far less intense and the family now has the skills and tools to reach resolutions. Most importantly, Lizette and her children have progressed from thinking they can’t to knowing they can!</p>​<br>2021-06-07T05:00:00ZNewstext/html; charset=utf-8 NewsEvent