Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

News and Events

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Mark Your Calendar! Christmas Classic Golf Tournament December 3 Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Mark Your Calendar! Christmas Classic Golf Tournament December 3 <p>Dust off your golf clubs, bring them out on the green, and celebrate over 100 years of saving children and healing families at the 26th Annual Christmas Classic Golf Tournament on Monday, December 3!</p><p>Sign-up now to enjoy all the benefits! <strong>All sponsorships include game-in-the-game. </strong></p><p>Teams of four will enjoy a day in the sun while competing for the top score, but the real winners are the hundreds of children and families Boys Town North Florida programs serve each year. <a href="https://attend.boystown.org/NorthFlorida/ChristmasClassic/" target="_blank"><strong>Register today!</strong></a></p><p>If you have any questions, please contact Dena Strickland, Development Director, at 850-504-5007 or <a href="mailto:dena.strickland@boystown.org"> <strong>dena.strickland@boystown.org</strong></a>.</p><h3>Date:</h3><p>Monday, December 3rd, 2018</p><h3>Time:</h3><p>Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.; Tee-off is at 10 a.m.</p><h3>Location:</h3><p>Golden Eagle Golf and Country Club<br><span class="section-info-text"><span class="widget-pane-link"><a href="https://goo.gl/maps/LyCwLbfgXLJ2" target="_blank">3700 Golden Eagle Dr E Tallahassee, FL 32312</a></span></span><br></p> <br>2018-12-03T06:00:00ZEventNorth Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 2019 Gala: Cheers to the Champions Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 2019 Gala: Cheers to the Champions <p> <br> </p><p>Boys Town North Florida invites you to our 16<sup>th</sup> annual Spirit of Youth Gala Friday, April 5 at 6:30 p.m. at the University Center Club! The theme for this year's event is "<strong>Cheers to the Champions</strong>" to celebrate those who make a difference in the lives of our children. </p><p>Through the help of our community champions, Boys Town North Florida directly cared for 1,061 children and provided help, healing and hope to over 2,600 children and families last year through our Boys Town's Integrated Continuum of Care<sup>®</sup>. </p><p>For sponsorship information, contact Dena Strickland at <a href="mailto:dena.strickland@boystown.org?subject=2012%20Gala%20Sponsor"><strong>dena.strickland@boystown.org</strong></a> or 850-504-5007.</p><p>Experience the hope Boys Town North Florida gives to children and families in our community at our 2019 Gala! Your support is greatly appreciated!</p><p>We look forward to seeing you on April 5! </p><h3>Date</h3><p>Friday, April 5, 2019</p><h3>Time</h3><p>6:30 p.m. </p><h3>Location</h3><p>University Center Club<br>FSU Doak Campbell Stadium<br> Tallahassee, FL 32306<br></p> <div id="anchorvid"></div><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/280555286" width="640" height="358" frameborder="0"></iframe>  </div>2019-04-05T05:00:00ZEventNorth Florida;#

 

 

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Goes All Out to Embrace Troubled Teen Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Goes All Out to Embrace Troubled Teen <p>At Boys Town, building relationships and establishing trust are always the primary goals when working with troubled youth. Recently, the staff at Boys Town North Florida was able to achieve those goals in a big way to help a 15-year-old youth named Julia.<br></p><p>Julia first entered a Boys Town North Florida Family Home, and after about a year, moved into Boys Town Therapeutic Foster Care. But over time, staff determined the teen needed a higher level of treatment because of the seriousness of her behavior problems. Julia eventually was admitted to an intensive residential treatment facility in another community.<br></p><p>As she was preparing to leave Boys Town's care, Julia told the Boys Town North Florida staff that they were more of a family to her than her own family. She recounted a time when a staff member had responded to a crisis situation in her Family Home and had prayed with her to help her calm down. Julia said it was the first time anyone had ever prayed with her, and it made a lasting impression. <br></p><p>Staff members responded in kind, reassuring Julia that Boys Town would always be there to love and care for her, and would welcome her back after she received the treatment she needed.<br></p><p>Sadly, Julia's parents' rights were terminated, and she lost contact with her family, leaving her alone and feeling abandoned. <br></p><p>But Boys Town kept its word. When Julia successfully completed her treatment, she was able to return to Boys Town's Therapeutic Foster Care program. <br></p><p>"We love Julia and we are thrilled that she returned to us," said Bethany Lacey, Senior Director of Program Operations at Boys Town North Florida. "Soon, she will be eligible for adoption, and we look forward to advocating and helping her find her forever family."<br></p>2018-09-21T05:00:00ZNorth Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Josh's Story Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Josh's Story <p>It could have been the angry outburst that ended Josh Eldridge's time in his Boys Town North Florida Family Home. Instead, it turned out to be the turning point in the teen's journey of healing. </p><p>Josh had been in six placements prior to entering Boys Town's residential care program in Tallahassee in 2016. The then-16-year-old was dealing with a lot of issues, including being distant and not wanting to interact with people. But one of his most serious challenges was anger control. </p><p>Trinity and Misty Mackley, Josh's Family-Teachers<sup>®</sup>, worked with Josh every day, teaching him skills for calming down when he got upset and strategies for getting along with others and building healthy relationships.</p><p>One day, however, Josh became extremely angry and violent. When he went to push Misty and punch Trinity, the couple called the police. But rather than having Josh arrested and taken away, they just filed an incident report.</p><p>For Josh, the event was life-changing. He realized, perhaps for the first time, that the Mackleys and other Boys Town staff truly cared about him and saw that he had the potential to succeed in life. Most importantly, he learned about forgiveness and how it can provide the opportunity for a person to make amends and start over.</p><p>"We were willing to work with him and that alone made a really big difference for him," Trinity said.</p><p>Gradually, Josh used this new perspective as motivation to work harder on his behaviors and skills, and to improve his grades at school. </p><p>That change in heart and attitude paid off earlier this year.</p><p>In May 2018, Josh proudly received his high school diploma from Tallahassee's Betton Hills School. His future plans include attending law enforcement training school and pursuing a career as a wildlife officer or a police officer. And even though he's left Boys Town North Florida and the Mackleys, he knows their love and support will remain with him as he starts a new chapter in his life. </p><p>In a poem he wrote while still a Boys Town youth, Josh summed up the uncertainty and frustration he sometimes felt:</p><p style="text-align:center;"> <strong>What if…?</strong></p><p style="text-align:center;">My mind is full of "what if…"<br>And my mind is hurting my heart inside of me.<br>I'm tired of all of these questions.<br>"What if…?</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my dreams don't come true?<br>But what if they do?<br>What if no one likes my music?<br>But what if they do?<br>What if?</p><p style="text-align:center;">My mind is killing me with all of these questions.<br>And I don't want to give up and quit.<br>But it is just, "what if?"</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my friends give up on me?<br>But what if they don't?<br>What if my family gives up on me?<br>But what if they don't?<br>What if I don't find the one on the way?<br>But what if I do?</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if my dreams don't come true?<br>But what if they do?<br>O, what if they do?<br>O, "what if?"</p><p style="text-align:center;">What if they do? What if they do?<br>What if they do?</p><p>Now, with Boys Town's support and his own determination, Josh is finding out that no one is giving up on him and his dreams can come true.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/JoshsStory.jpg" title="Josh's Story"> </a> </div>2018-08-28T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="(Left to right) Jackie Barksdale, Carole Johnson, Josh Eldridge, Celeena Mackley and Misty Mackley celebrated Josh’s graduation." src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/group-photo.jpg" width="391" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Starts a Master Chef Health Initiative Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town North Florida Starts a Master Chef Health Initiative <p>This summer, Boys Town North Florida started a "Master Chef School" as part of the site's health initiative.<br>Lasting six weeks, one child from each of the five residential homes will be designated each week to prepare recipes with help from local chefs. During their assigned week, a chef will teach the child the ways around the kitchen and how to prepare a nutritious meal for their residential home family.</p><p></p><p>The health initiative was started by Dena Strickland, Boys Town North Florida Development Director, and several Boys Town friends including: Ken Cashin, Lisa Chase, Lori Vezina, Chef Paula Kendrick of Fresh for Florida Kids, Board member Monesia Brown and others who wished to make a difference in the overall health of children in care. The group decided to initially focus on healthy meals that were not only easy to prepare, but very tasty and later expand the initiative to include healthy living in every aspect!</p><p><span><p><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/TeachFoodPrep.jpg" alt="Teaching Food Prep" style="margin:5px;" /></p></span></p><p>The first five campus children were selected to kick off the first class of the summer, led by Chef Paula with Lori Vezina as her sous chef. The campus "Master Chefs" made cumin and rosemary roasted chicken thighs with vegetables, spring mix organic salad with pecans, feta and homemade balsamic vinaigrette, fresh fruit and bread. Past Governor's chef and owner of Minas Hospitality, John Minas, also assisted in the kick off and will be leading the second "Master Chef School".</p><p><span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/dish.jpg" alt="Deliciousness" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:336px;" /></span>Chef Paula Kendrick and Lori Vezina who were dinner guests of one of the Family Homes noted that dinnertime was a very important part of the family's day and were passionate to add a more nutritional component to the meals that the families make.</p><p></p><p>"It's important to help them create healthy habits that will maintain and stay with them for the rest of their life," said Paula, "It's a life skill that everyone needs."</p><p><span></span></p><p></p><p></p><p>Dena Strickland said the children loved the Master Chef School and were excited to see the final product of their hard work in the kitchen. </p><p><span><span><img src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Chef.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></span></span></p><p><span><span></span></span>Thanks to everyone for making this possible for the children and getting the campus involved in a wonderful health initiative that the children can take with them for the rest of their lives!​</p>2018-07-19T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Young Chef" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Pic1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | The “Living Work of heART” in North Florida Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | The “Living Work of heART” in North Florida <p>On Friday, April 13, Boys Town North Florida celebrated its 15<sup>th</sup> Annual Spirit of Youth Gala:<em> "A Living Work of heART," </em>bringing together the community to celebrate the children of Boys Town and the wonderful community who supports them.</p><p>A special thank you to this year's awesome Gala Chairs: Sean and Dr. Audra Pittman and Emory and Autumn Mayfield, for their remarkable dedication to Boys Town and for all their hard work creating a tremendously successful gala.<strong> </strong>The event raised an incredible total of $392,991 and will impact the North Florida community by directly helping the children and families through the six programs Boys Town North Florida operates.</p><p>"We are extremely grateful for the support that the Boys Town Gala received this year.  It simply wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of our sponsors, volunteers, and friends of Boys Town who helped make this year's event such a success," said Gala Chair Emory Mayfield.</p><p>This year's theme "An Evening at the MET" was another sell-out at 400 attendees and boasted some amazing auction items. Some of the auction highlights included an exclusive VIP Experience for 4 to the Orange Bowl Playoff game, two tickets to a Los Angeles Lakers game on a private jet and a one week stay in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.</p><p>"We were humbled by the opportunity to be intimately apart of the Boys Town North Florida gala that raises the funds necessary to help these children. Those who supported the Spirit of Youth Gala through their time and contributions have had an extraordinary imprint in making this year a success, and we are very, very grateful to those supporters," said Gala Chair Autumn Mayfield. </p><p>The event also featured a Children's "heART" Gallery, displaying beautiful works of art and mosaic bird baths. Thanks to all of our talented artists Anne Hempel and Joanna Angelos who spearheaded the two projects and Kelly Pettit, Dr. Audra Pittman and Rhonda Strauss who played a tremendous part in helping them.</p><p>Two celebrity fashion designers also helped make the night unforgettable. Alexandra Pijut's Supima collection was featured as guests entered the cocktail reception and Daniel Wingate donated a couture gown to the auction for guests to bid on.</p><p>In its 15<sup>th</sup> year, the gala has grown from 200 attendees to now maxing out at 400. The event, originally considered a fundraiser, is now referred to as a "thank you campaign" to show appreciation for all of the Boys Town North Florida supporters.</p><p>"I would like to give special recognition to not only our tremendous supporters, but our own Boys Town staff who went above and beyond to ensure the success of the event," said Development Director Dena Strickland. "The entire gala team, including our staff expressed that their efforts were worth the time spent because it shared what Boys Town North Florida is all about – the kids and our Boys Town community who supports them."</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/Fashion.jpg" title="Fashion Show"> </a><a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/LabPuppy.jpg" title="Puppy"> </a> </div>2018-06-19T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Gala Attendees" src="/locations/north-florida/news-and-events/PublishingImages/attendees.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Tallahassee Woman Magazine Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Tallahassee Woman Magazine <p>Boys Town North Florida Development Director, Dena Strickland, was recently featured in the April-May 2018 issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine. The article highlights Strickland and her role as Development Director for Boys Town North Florida. </p><p> <a href="https://issuu.com/tallahasseewoman/docs/aprilmay2018_digitalissue" target="_blank">Read the full article</a></p>​2018-04-13T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Dena" src="/locations/north-florida/PublishingImages/Dena.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Helps Develop Continuum of Care at Children’s Home in Trinidad Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Helps Develop Continuum of Care at Children’s Home in Trinidad <p>For many years, Sister Arlene Greenidge, Director of St. Dominic's Children's Home in Port of Spain, Trinidad, has been influenced by the man and mission that started Boys Town. The goals that Father Flanagan set to improve the lives of youth and provide healthy environments for children to prosper, guided Sister Arlene's pursuit to reach out and give the youth in Trinidad a chance at a successful future. </p><p>For the past few years, St. Dominic's Children's Home has been working with Florida State University and Boys Town National to develop a trauma-informed plan that would fit a variety of youth needs in the area. The country is greatly affected by poverty and violence, which often leads to children needing protection from abuse, neglect and human trafficking. Much like Father Flanagan, Sister Arlene and the staff at St. Dominic's Children's Home wanted to lead the change in overcoming such adversities.</p><p>To help St. Dominic's Children's Home reach their final transitioning steps, Jacqueline Barksdale, Clinical Support Specialist at Boys Town North Florida, traveled to Trinidad to assist them in building their framework for a Continuum of Care, which would expand their programs beyond residential services. During her week-long stay with the children and staff in October, Jacqueline provided training to 32 staff members over topics that focused on Child Development, Separation and Loss, Trauma-Informed Care, Behavior Management, Social Skills and Independent Living Skills.</p><p>"The training was extremely informative, relevant and excellent in allowing the direct care providers the opportunity to see the importance of their role in the organization, as well as, it gave some very useful tactics to incorporate in daily care that could positively change the landscape of care already offered at SDCH," said St. Dominic's Children's Home Clinical Psychologist, Petra.</p><p>Now, St. Dominic's Children's Home staff has been trained to build on family engagement and use various Boys Town model concepts to assist in training, as well as, use Teaching Social Skills to Youth in their interventions to the children. "We were only able to make this journey of realization because of Jackie's skill and professional posture," said Sister Arlene. "The process which Jackie used was energizing and the substance engendered hope."</p>2018-04-04T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Trinidad" src="/news/PublishingImages/Trinidad_1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 25 Women: Dena Sokolow enjoys 'ripple effect' of advocacy Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 25 Women: Dena Sokolow enjoys 'ripple effect' of advocacy <p><em>This article is written by Heather Fuselier. </em><a href="https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/communities/25women/2018/03/24/25-women-dena-sokolow-enjoys-ripple-effect-advocacy/452516002/" target="_blank"><em>It was published on Tallahassee.com March 24, 2018. </em></a></p><p>After growing up in Tallahassee, Dena Sokolow couldn't wait to get out of town. She left, and she lived in nine different cities before returning to her hometown. "This is where I wanted to raise my daughter," she says with certainty. "This is a place where we can really connect with people." And, they have.</p><p>Sokolow is one of Tallahassee's 25 Women You Need to Know, and if you're smart, to follow.</p><p>Now in its 12th year, the program is the Tallahassee Democrat's way of honoring women who lead. Meet the women every day during the month of March in print and on tallahassee.com.</p><p>As a single mom, philanthropist, and shareholder in the Tallahassee law office of Baker Donelson, Sokolow has her hands full. They're full of socks for the homeless, teddy bears for children, cookies for the garbage truck driver, and blankets for people sleeping outside.</p><p>Also in her hand is that of her 9-year-old Jenna, who started learning at an early age about the value and importance of building community through service. "Giving to others has always been part of my life," Dena says. "It's how I grew up. Now we have an annual tradition of doing random acts of kindness, and we do something different each year for her birthday. We started with socks and blankets...now she wants to give people houses and jobs," she laughs. </p><p>She is drawn to volunteering for organizations that benefit children and has been an active volunteer and board member for Boys Town for 15 years, relentlessly seeking donations from businesses for a silent auction that benefit Boys Town's neglected and abused children. "I try to help wherever I am," Dena explains, "but I look for opportunities where I can engage my daughter. The ripple effect is fun to watch; the relationships and friendships that come from volunteering is a bonus!"</p><p>Hand-in-hand with Dena's advocacy for children is the time she spends each day managing a Facebook group that started as a way for her and her friends to stay connected as young mothers and has grown to a social networking powerhouse of 11,000 users and growing.</p><p>The Tally Moms Stay Connected Facebook page connects mothers across Tallahassee and beyond to provide support, resources, and camaraderie for moms. Moderating the page opens her eyes to the elements of motherhood that all women share, regardless of their place in life. "I'd love to see even more outreach across different segments of our city," she says. "We have more in common than we know." </p><p>Whether she is advocating for Boys Town, volunteering at Jenna's school, connecting moms on Facebook, or thinking of new ways to lend a helping hand, Sokolow encourages you to join her. "Just get involved! Yes, we are all busy, but even something small makes a difference to someone," she said. "If everyone did something that seems small to them but is big for someone else, imagine what could happen.</p>2018-03-29T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Dena Sokolow" src="/news/PublishingImages/Dena-Sokolow.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />North Florida;#