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Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Celebrates Racing for the Roses Gala Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Celebrates Racing for the Roses Gala <p>On Saturday, May 5, Boys Town Washington DC celebrated the 3<sup>rd</sup> annual Racing for the Roses Gala at the Capital Hilton. The event was an opportunity to bring together donors and sponsors of the site to celebrate and of course watch "the most exciting two minutes in sports."</p><p>The evening's proceedings included live jazz music, a hat contest, viewing of the 144<sup>th</sup> Kentucky Derby and both silent and live auctions.</p><p>The 3<sup>rd  </sup>annual Racing for the Roses Gala was a big success, raising  around $125,000 for Boys Town Washington DC , an amount they hope to surpass in future years.</p><p>"We would love to see the event keep growing," said Wesley Tomlinson, Development Coordinator, "We hope to increase community involvement and in turn, boost attendance, helping to spread the mission of Boys Town."</p><p>One of the goals of this year's gala was putting an emphasis on the Behavioral Health Clinic, which has grown exponentially in DC for the past three years since its opening. Director of the Behavioral Health Clinic, Dr. Robert J. Wingfield, had the opportunity to speak to guests at this year's gala – moving a few individuals to tears with his impactful success stories.</p><p>"Here at Boys Town Washington DC we are really focusing on expanding our Behavioral Health Clinic because we are finding a huge need within the community," stated Tomlinson, "and we are working very hard to meet those needs."</p><p>Boys Town Washington DC continues to expand the new Behavioral Health Clinic. In the past year they have hired three new psychologists with the hopes to help and heal over 400 clients this year. The gala was a great opportunity to share this ongoing work with the incredible donors and sponsors of the site.</p><p>Big thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the 3<sup>rd</sup> annual Racing for the Roses Gala! It was an incredible success that brought our supporters together to celebrate what Boys Town is really all about.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing2.jpg" title="Racing for Roses Gala"> </a> <a class="image-group cboxElement" href="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing3.jpg" title="Racing for Roses Gala - Big Stuffed Bear"> </a> </div>2018-06-08T05:00:00ZNews<img alt="Racing" src="/locations/washington-dc/news-and-events/PublishingImages/racing1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town: A Beacon of Hope for Troubled Youth <p> <em>​​​​​​​​This story aired on</em> CBS Sunday Morning a<em>nd was posted on <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boys-town-a-beacon-for-troubled-youth/" target="_blank">cbsnews.com</a> on December 25, 2016.</em></p><p> <em>"There's no place like home." Rarely is that truer than this time of year. Our Christmas Cover Story is all about a very special home for some very needy children, as reported by Tony Dokoupil:</em></p><p>Right near the midpoint of America, ten miles outside of Omaha, Nebraska, there's a town that sits between childhood and whatever comes after.</p><p>"These young people are about to become citizens of the most famous village in the world," said Father Stephen Boes at a swearing-in ceremony.</p><p>In this town, almost every kid is at a crossroads -- and the goal of all the grown-ups here is to help kids leave Boys Town behind.</p><p>"I do solemnly promise … that I will be a good citizen."</p><p>Eighteen-year-old Chase Pruss, from Dodge, Neb., was sworn in here six months ago --  arriving, like a lot of the kids, straight from jail.</p><p>"I took the school safe," he said.  "Just for money. For Beer money. And gas money. And buy cigarettes."</p><p>Two more break-ins followed, and Pruss ended up arrested in front of his bewildered parents. "My mom was crying, my dad was crying," he said.</p><p>He had run through four different schools, stolen and lied.</p><p>And he faced 80 years in prison, ​until a judge helped get him into Boys Town. "I ​​had that mindset of, "I never want to ever ​put myself in the position where I could land myself back in an orange jumpsuit," Pruss said. "I never ​wanted my ​jail ID ​number to say ​who I was."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-in-class.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris (right) in class at Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>Seventeen-year-old Andre Harris came to Boys Town the same way.  Nearly three years ago, back in Amarillo, Texas, he stole a car, and ended up in juvenile detention.</p><p>"I didn't feel like I was gonna amount to anything after that," he told Dokoupil.  </p><p>Frankly, he didn't think he'd amount to much <em>before </em>jail, either. College seemed out of reach. He can't remember hearing someone say they were proud of him.</p><p>Dokoupil said of Boys Town, "More felons per capita here than any town in Nebraska."</p><p>"Probably!" Harris laughed. "But we're all doing our best to change."</p><p>Almost every week here at Boys Town, new boys (and since 1979, new girls, too) are sent by social workers, judges and desperate parents. Most of the kids have been unable to live anywhere else without getting in trouble.</p><p>And Boys Town is their last chance.</p><p>"A lot of people would say they're bad kids," Dokoupil said. "Is that how they see themselves when they get here?"</p><p>"Some of our kids do," replied Tony Jones, one of Boys Town's "family teachers." "They see themselves as, you know, on the bottom of the totem pole."</p><p>And how do they change that mindset? "You show them that this is <em>your</em> decision. This is <em>your</em> life."</p><p>Jones and his wife, Simone, run one of 55 homes on campus. Eight Boys Town children live there like a family, alongside the Jones' three biological kids.</p><p>"Every single young man that has come through my home has now become a part of my family," Jones said.</p><p>This is a large part of what makes Boys Town so powerful; all 360 kids living here have paid Boys Town parents like Tony and Simone.</p><p>"It's a professional, full-time Dad, brother, uncle, cousin -- whatever my boys may need me to be at that particular time in their life, that, then, is who I become for them," Jones said.</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-tony-and-simone-jones-and-family.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Tony Jones and his wife, Simone, and three children share their home with eight Boys Town students. CBS News​</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>He began at Boys Town as a boy himself. He was born to a shattered family in Detroit. "I can recall my brother and I standing at a bus stop, and it was in the dead of winter. And we only had one pair of socks to share between the two us," Jones laughed.</p><p>But then a priest gave the Jones brothers a chance to change their lives at Boys Town. "It was a total transformation," he said.</p><p>Dokoupil asked, "Where do you think you would be if you had said no to Boys Town?"</p><p>"Oh, two places: I would either be incarcerated, or I would be dead."</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-father-edward-flanagan.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Father Edward Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> <p>The Jones story is typical of a hundred years of stories at Boys Town, which began in 1917 as Father Flanagan's Home for Boys. The most beloved clergyman in America, he created arguably the most famous reform school in the world.</p><p>Of his charges, Father Flanagan said, "His bruised and tortured heart and mind must be nursed back to normal health through kindness."</p><p>You may remember a 1938-Oscar winning movie about the place starring Spencer Tracy. But what you probably don't know is it's a real town, with a real post office and police department.</p><p>At about $65,000 per student per year, Boys Town is comparable to a top private college -- and it's mostly taxpayers footing the bill.</p><p>But taxpayers pay for prisons, too -- more than $39 billion a year nationally. Boys Town says it can help keep those prison cells empty, while nearly doubling the chance that these students will graduate from high school.</p><p>Dokoupil asked Jones, "How do you avoid coming in and being just another person telling them all the things they're doing wrong?"</p><p>"By telling them all the things they're doing right," Jones replied. "That's how you help kids change. It's being able to say, 'Hey, young man, you did a good job this morning getting up.'"</p><p>"It almost sounds like a joke."</p><p>"Well, you know something? That little praise goes a long way."</p><p>That little praise goes all the way back to Father Flanagan's ​founding idea: "There are no bad boys."</p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful … well, the results say otherwise.</p><p>When asked where he would be without Boys Town, Chase Pruss replied, "I'd be in lockup." As did another. </p><p>And if that all sounds too pat to be successful, just listen to the results. Tesharr said, "I've been here for a short amount of time. But since my first day I didn't feel like I was in a place where I couldn't leave. I felt like I was home."</p><p>Of course, the Boys Town way does not work for every child who comes here; there are failures. But for Chase's parents, Dan and Trish, it's been nothing short of a Christmas miracle.</p><p>Dokoupil asked them, "Who was Chase before Boys Town and who is he today?"</p><p>"He was dishonest, disrespectful, a thief," said his mother. "And now he is the Chase that I always wanted him to be."</p><p>For Andre Harris, the change has been no less dramatic since stealing that car. "It's not even the same person," he said.</p><p>And how is he different? "My actions, the way I speak. I've grown up. I've become a young man."</p><p>He's a school leader now … a star on the track team … and he's just found out he's headed to college next year. </p><p>But first, he's headed to Amarillo for the holidays … a place he hasn't seen in nearly three years. It's a place that Boys Town has been preparing him for since the very day he made his grand theft exit: </p><p>It's home.</p><p>"This is my Christmas gift," Robert Harris told Dokoupil. "This is all I wanted!"</p> <figure class="page-suppt-cont-alt"> <img class="spec-border" src="/news/PublishingImages/boys-town-andre-harris-home-in-amarillo.jpg" alt="" /> <figcaption> <em>Andre Harris is welcomed by neighbors back home in Amarillo, Texas. CBS News</em></figcaption> </figure> 2016-12-29T06:00:00ZWashington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Washington DC Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Holiday Celebrations at Boys Town Washington DC <p>​​Boys Town Washington DC values employee recognition during the holiday season. Every year, they host an all-staff holiday party for everyone to attend. Each staff member receives an award to recognize their contribution to the mission of Boys Town. One employee from each department is also awarded employee of the year plaques for going above and beyond in their position. </p><p>The Family Homes at Boys Town Washington DC also get in the holiday spirit. Every year, they decorate as a family with lights and festive holiday decorations. A large tree is also decorated that sits in the middle of the circle drive where all the Family Homes are located.​</p>2016-12-29T06:00:00Z<img alt="A table of cookies and cupcakes" src="/news/PublishingImages/010317_DC_Holiday1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Helps Riley Family Stand Tall Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Boys Town Washington DC Helps Riley Family Stand Tall <p>Terrina Riley literally had nowhere else to go when she first came to Boys Town Washington DC.</p><p>But today, thanks to the help of Boys Town Family Consultant Kayma Freeman, Terrina and her family are on their way to a healthy recovery.</p><p>Terrina and her children became homeless after they were asked to leave Terrina's father's one-bedroom apartment due to conditions in his lease. With nowhere to live and no transportation, Terrina was at a crossroads. When her children's school attendance became irregular because of the family's situation, Terrina was referred to Boys Town's In-Home Family Services<sup>®</sup> through a program in which Boys Town Washington DC partners with District of Columbia Public Schools. </p><p>Freeman was assigned to the family's case and quickly tapped into community resources so Terrina, son Demaurice and daughter Paris could be placed in an emergency shelter. It wasn't the ideal situation, Freeman said, but it was an important first step in the Riley family's recovery.</p><p>"Ms. Riley was in a tough situation," Freeman said. "Being told to leave her father's apartment was rough on everyone. But when we secured a place for them to stay at the emergency shelter, it changed things. Since they had a place to live, she was able to get transportation for her son to attend school. That was the real start to turning things around."</p><p>With Demaurice attending school regularly, his grades improved dramatically. And thanks to Freeman's help, Terrina was able to look into renting a more permanent residence and apply for a job. She even obtained a learner's permit to drive and is hoping to get her own car.</p><p>Terrina eventually enrolled both of her children in a better school and sought services for her own well-being. Freeman also provided three bags of clothing for Terrina and her children.</p><p>In a note to Freeman, Terrina expressed her appreciation:</p><p> <em>"…You have allowed me to be myself and because of that, I have matured a lot. It's kinda making me emotional because I wish I wouldn't have met you thru truancy because you're just enough to consider a good friend. Am attached to you in a way I don't feel alone now. Am glad you inspired me and my life, now with these clothes… I feel more completed as a woman. Even tho I am shedding tears… They are tears of JOY!!! I just wanted you to know you have made me GROW!!!"</em></p><p>Freeman says Terrina has lofty goals.</p><p>"Ms. Riley has said to me many times that she would love to have her own home where her children can run freely," Freeman said. "She would love to be able to go to school and work to support her and her children. She just wants to stand on her own two feet without having to wait for or rely on anyone."</p><p>With the compassionate guidance of Freeman and Boys Town Washington DC, the door is now open for Terrina to follow that dream. </p>2016-12-28T06:00:00ZNews<img alt="Terrina and her kids, Demaurice and Paris, have a brighter future thanks to Boys Town’s help." src="/news/PublishingImages/122816_RileysStory.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Yolanda Vazquez talks with Dr. Robert Wingfield Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Yolanda Vazquez talks with Dr. Robert Wingfield <p>​​​​​​Yolanda Vazquez talks with Dr. Robert Wingfield, Chief Psychologist of the Boys Town Washington DC Behavioral ​​Health Clinic. They discuss the ​organization and their mission to the community. They also discuss the 100 anniversary of Boys Town.</p><p>Follow Boys Town Washington DC on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BoysTownDC" target="_blank">Facebook​</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/BoysTown_DC" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p><p>Taped 12/14/16​</p>2016-12-27T06:00:00ZWashington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Former Boys Town Youth Now Helps Others as Advocate for At-Risk Kids Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | Former Boys Town Youth Now Helps Others as Advocate for At-Risk Kids <p>​​How does a 12-year-old cope as he struggles with his father’s substance abuse issues and his parents’ separation?</p><p>He argues with his parents, challenging their authority. Over time, he escalates his negative behavior, acting out, using alcohol and drugs, and ​getting into brushes with the law. And school becomes a major source of frustration because he’s failing and not learning.</p><p>That was Sloane Baxter’s life as he began the steady descent that would ultimately land him in a youth prison.</p><p>At 14, Sloane was arrested for attempting to steal a car. He was placed on probation, but repeated probation violations led to his incarceration at Oak Hill Youth Center.</p><p>“Oak Hill was a youth prison,” said Lisette Burton, J.D., Director of National Advocacy at Boys Town Washington DC. “It was an awful place with barbed wire; it looked and functioned like a prison for adults. It has since been shut down.”</p><p>Sloane spent several months at the center before his caseworker contacted Boys Town Washington DC about a possible placement in the site’s <a href="/locations/washington-dc/programs/Pages/family-homes.aspx">Family H​ome Program</a>. After Boys Town staff visited with Sloane, everyone agreed it would be a good fit.</p><p>“Sloane is a very engaging young man,” Burton said. “He adapted quickly to the structure, skill teaching and family-style environment of the program.”</p><p>Besides providing a safe, nurturing home for the teen, Sloane’s Family-Teachers<sup>®</sup> worked with his caseworker, family members and others to place him in a school that better addressed his educational needs.</p><p>“This was a very big deal for him because he had not previously experienced any school success,” Burton said. “Once he was in the right environment, he began to thrive in school.”</p><p>Sloane also began to develop and pursue other interests that proved beneficial.</p><p>“The boys in his Family Home participated in a summer project called ‘Book in Day,’” Burton said. “This taught them the fundamentals of poetry, how to write poems and basic publishing. They created a book of poetry titled ‘Concrete Dreams’ and published it. Having these kinds of experiences, in addition to learning new skills and building relationships at home and in school, helped propel him forward.”</p><p>Sloane was 17 when he left Boys Town and moved home, which had greatly improved during his stay. He graduated from high school and later got an apartment of his own. He continued working at Starbucks – a job he started as an afterschool employee while at Boys Town – and eventually earned a promotion to a supervisor position.</p><p>“To this day, Sloane still keeps in touch with his Family-Teachers,” Burton said. “He’s on a great path. The big difference for Sloane is he now utilizes the resources around him, and he has well-developed problem-solving and communication skills. He also has a great relationship with both of his parents today.”</p><p>Sloane’s life experiences also have made him an ideal advocate for at-risk children.</p><p>In October 2015, Boys Town was advocating for a federal juvenile justice bill with the Chairman of the House Committee on Workforce and Education, Congressman John Kline.</p><p>“Chairman Kline previously visited Boys Town in Nebraska, and his staff knew young people from Boys Town had given valuable testimony before. They requested a Boys Town youth to speak at a hearing on juvenile justice,” Burton said. “We asked Sloane if he would be willing and he readily agreed. He was still young enough for his experiences to be fresh and relevant but also older and mature enough to be able to independently determine what he wanted to share and how.”</p><p>Burton helped Sloane, then 22, shape his story and experiences into his formal testimony to Congress.</p><p>During the hearing, Sloane spoke alongside a judge, a vice president of a large nonprofit organization and a leader who advocates for justice reforms. Sloane was asked pointed questions about his experiences and his opinions on juvenile justice issues.</p><p>“Sloane’s testimony was fantastic,” Burton said. “He was actually highlighted in Chairman Kline’s comments after the hearing because it was so impactful. Sloane’s testimony about being incarcerated as a young person and then thriving in a family-style, community-based program like Boys Town’s Family Homes had a big impact on the committee – and that impact is ongoing.”</p><p>In May 2016, Chairman Kline and his staff, along with ranking-member Congressman Bobby Scott, contacted Boys Town Washington DC to arrange a visit to a Family Home so they could learn more about the residential program and see it in action.</p><p>In addition, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan recently published a Republican Party policy brief called “A Better Way.” One of the policy’s major initiatives is to lift young people out of poverty and onto the ladder of opportunity.</p><p>“In this policy agenda, Sloane’s name and story are highlighted as an example of a young person who participated in the right kind of program that led to long-lasting success,” Burton said. “Also, there is a quote from Sloane where he talks about the fact that things could have gone a lot of different if it wasn’t for a place like Boys Town, and that it still serves as a lifeline for him when he needs it.”</p><p>Today, Sloane continues his work as an advocate for Boys Town and at-risk children.</p><p>“There is an upcoming youth justice symposium that Sloane wants to attend,” Burton said. “He is a great example of someone who benefited from residential care. And because of that, he wants to give back and continue to help those in similar situations.”</p>2016-09-06T05:00:00Z<img alt="Sloane provided impactful testimony during a hearing on a federal juvenile justice bill before the House Committee." src="/news/PublishingImages/a%20PHOTO%20Sloane%20Baxter%20Testimony%20Oct%202015%20rec%20082916.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Washington DC;#
Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | United States Mint Unveils Designs for Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | United States Mint Unveils Designs for Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins <p> <em>​​​This press release was published on <a href="http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/?action=press_release&id=1817" target="_blank">usmint.gov</a> August 23, 2016.</em></p><p>Designs for coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Boys Town were unveiled today during a ceremony at Boys Town Music Hall in Boys Town, Neb.</p><p>"Each time a person looks at any one of these unique designs, it will spark an interest in learning about the history of Boys Town, acknowledging the extraordinary efforts made by this organization to give comfort and purpose to children in need, and recognizing the significant contributions of Father Flanagan," said United States Mint Principal Deputy Director ​Rhett Jeppson.</p><p>Jeppson was joined by Boys Town​ representatives Cordell Cade and Kymani Bell, mayor and vice mayor, respectively; Dan Daly, Executive Vice President, Director of Youth Care; and Jerry Davis, Vice President of Advocacy.</p><p>Public Law 114-30 authorizes the Mint to mint and issue no more than 50,000 $5 gold, 350,000 $1 silver, and 300,000 half dollar clad coins with designs emblematic of the centennial of Boys Town. </p><p>The gold coin obverse (heads) features a portrait of Father Flanagan.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN CENTENNIAL," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "FR. EDWARD FLANAGAN," "LIBERTY," and "2017."  The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.</p><p>The gold coin reverse (tails) features an outstretched hand holding a young oak tree growing from an acorn.  As ​stated in the idiom "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow," this design represents the potential of each child helped by Boys Town to grow into a productive, complete adult.  Inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "THE WORK WILL CONTINUE," "FIVE DOLLARS," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."  The reverse was also designed by Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.</p><p>The silver $1 coin obverse features a young girl sitting alone and gazing upward into the branches of an oak tree looking for help.  The empty space around the girl is deliberate and meant to show the child's sense of loneliness, isolation, and helplessness.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN," "When you help a child today...," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY," and "1917-2017."</p><p>The obverse was designed by AIP Designer Emily Damstra and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. </p><p>The coin's reverse features an oak tree offering shelter and a sense of belonging to the family holding hands below it, which includes the girl from the obverse.  Inscriptions include "...you write the history of tomorrow," "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "ONE DOLLAR," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."  The reverse was also designed by Damstra and sculpted by Menna.</p><p>The clad half dollar obverse features an older brother holding the hand of his younger brother in 1917.  They walk toward Father Flanagan's Boys Home and the 1940s pylon representing what would become Boys Town.  Inscriptions include "BOYS TOWN," "1917," "2017," "IN GOD WE TRUST," "LIBERTY," and "Saving Children."  The obverse was designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.</p><p>The coin's reverse features a present-day Boys Town neighborhood of homes where children are schooled and nurtured by caring families.  Out of these homes come young adults who graduate from high school and the Boys Town program.  Inscriptions include "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," "Healing Families," and "HALF DOLLAR."  The reverse was also designed by Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.</p><p>Pricing for the Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins will include surcharges-$35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each $1 silver coin, and $5 for each half dollar clad coin-which are authorized to be paid to Boys Town to carry out its cause of caring for and assisting children and families in underserved communities across America.</p><p>The Mint will announce the release date and additional pricing information for the Boys Town Centennial Commemorative Coins prior to their release in 2017.</p><div class="hidden-gal"> <a class="image-group" href="/news/PublishingImages/082416_OWHsilvercoin_web.jpg"></a><a class="image-group" href="/news/PublishingImages/082416_OWHcladcoin_web.jpg"></a> </div>2016-08-24T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/082416_OWHgoldcoin_web.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />California;#Washington DC;#