An Update On How Sky Ranch Foundation Is Helping Quality Programs Helping Kids!
Sky Ranch Foundation is pleased to report that the following grant decisions have been made in 2011. Funds have begun flowing to the indicated organizations. Updates will be issued when available. Your support for Sky Ranch Foundation will help us aid more programs. Please see donation box below.
$75,000 Sky Ranch Behavioral Services, Sioux City, Iowa. This program continues part of the former Sky Ranch program working with kids before and after residential placement. This grant will help the organization to hire an additional therapeutic counselor to support at-risk youth transitioning out of residential treatment facilities.
$15,000 Pops Kids, based in Woodside, California, specializes in offering support to empower children with motor challenges (brought on by Cerebral Pal- sy, Spinal Bifida, and Childhood Stroke) so that they can live their lives as independently as possible and participate in mainstream society to the fullest. Five children from low-income families will receive specialized education and support services thanks to the Sky Ranch Foundation grant.
$35,000 Pacific Lodge Boys Home of Woodland Hills, California. Pacific Lodge has been building productive lives for young men 13-18 for almost a cen- tury. They have progressively evolved into a comprehensive residential substance abuse and mental health treatment center facilitating the successful rehabilitation of youth who have experienced acute trauma, violence and abandonment from their families of origin.
$31,000 Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky. The Children’s Home is a full-service residential treatment facility serving boys and young men between the ages of 7-17. Our gift will help the organization to build four additional single-occupancy bedrooms to serve a greater number of the most at-risk young men in the community.
$25,000 McCrossan’s Boys Ranch, Sioux Falls, SD to help expand their independent living program to house an additional 24 people.
$20,000 Medicine Horse Program, Boulder, Colorado - (In Memory of Harry Wiles) to help more than 40 disadvantaged young women participate in "equine therapy" program to help with issues of low-self esteem, anxiety and depression. Click here to view a news release on this grant!
$500 No Greater Sacrifice. A special donation to this program aiding the children of wounded and killed American soldiers.
Ken Davis (center), Chairman of the Pennington County (SD) Commission and a Member of the Sky Ranch Foundation Board attended a recent event at McCrossan Boy's Ranch marking the opening of their new Independent Living facility. Ken was warmly greeted by Brian Roegiers, Executive Director of McCrossan's (at left) and Christy Menning (at right), Director of Development. They thanked him for the recent donation from Sky Ranch Foundation.
Pictured above is the new Independent Living facility, part of the McCrossan's Boy's Ranch program in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. This is one of the programs that Sky Ranch Foundation has begun supporting in keeping with our committment to help quality programs helping troubled and at-risk boys and girls.
Other Recent News:
Sky Ranch Foundation Begins Delivering Aid to Charities for At-Risk Kids. Announces Reorganization Plans.
Fredericksburg, VA, September 28, 2011... Sky Ranch Foundation, which has been coordinating beverage industry support for troubled kids since 1961, has launched a new phase of operations with over $200,000 in annual funding for quality programs delivering care to boys and girls who need help. The first several grant awards are being announced now. Additional grant applications are under review and funding announcements are expected in the next few months.
Renewed Commitment to Kids
Earlier this year, Sky Ranch Foundation announced that, due to government budget cuts, the States were significantly reducing the type of care offered to kids in trouble. As a result, Sky Ranch for Boys, which had been the Foundation’s exclusive beneficiary since 1961, was closing. In the wake of this unfortunate development, the leaders of Sky Ranch Foundation rededicated themselves to finding new ways to help programs helping kids. As Foundation President Ralph Aguera puts it, “We want to do what we can to help make sure other outstanding programs don't meet the same fate that befell Sky Ranch for Boys. These are tough times for everyone in this field. I believe there is enough care, concern and generosity among the people in the alcohol beverage industry that we will be able to continue making an important difference.”
Under the leadership of Grant Review Committee Chairman George McCarthy, the Foundation has examined nearly a dozen compelling requests for funding that have been received in just the past few months.
The first commitment made was for $75,000 in support for a surviving part of the former Sky Ranch program. Based in Sioux City, Iowa, what is now known as Sky Ranch Behavioral Services is staffed by experienced individuals who are available to the kids they help on a 24/7 basis. They work with kids who appear headed for serious trouble to try to solve their problems before they require out of home placement. For boys and girls who do wind up being sent away to a residential correctional program, the team works to reintegrate them back into the community, continue their education, find employment, resolve family conflicts and stay out of trouble. The program even has regular sessions with parents to try to improve parenting skills, and a reported 89% of involved parents are doing just that! Meanwhile, 34 young people have been helped by the program since direct assistance from Sky Ranch Foundation began in July 2011. Over 97% have remained in school or completed their education and are, as hoped, still living at home.
Sky Ranch Foundation will also make two grants to California-based programs helping kids with special needs. The grants, total $50,000 for the current year.
Pops Kids, based in Woodside, California, specializes in offering Conductive Training to empower children with motor challenges (such as brought on by Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Bifida, and Childhood Stroke) so that they can live their lives as independently as possible and participate in mainstream society to the fullest. Five wait-listed kids from low income families will be able to receive the special training thanks to the Sky Ranch Foundation grant.
The other California grant recipient is Pacific Lodge Boys Home of Woodland Hills, California. Pacific Lodge has been building productive lives for young men 13-18 for almost a century. They have progressively evolved into a comprehensive residential substance abuse and mental health treatment center facilitating the successful rehabilitation of youth who have experienced acute trauma, violence and abandonment from their families of origin.
Foundation Reorganizes to Lower Costs
According to Mr. Aguera, Sky Ranch Foundation is also making organizational changes to help it perform its new mission. “We have asked the professional money management team at Merrill Lynch to manage our process of grant application solicitation, review and funding to help assure thorough evaluation of all requests and careful distribution of all funds. They will work with our Grant Review Committee chaired by George McCarthy.”
Foundation members will continue to solicit funds for the Foundation from their companies and associates, to help grow the asset base.
Mr. Aguera continued saying, “To help achieve our goals, Duncan Cameron has agreed to step down as our Treasurer and Administrator effective December 31, 2011. Duncan has been our Administrator since 1988, following many years of Sky Ranch involvement in various capacities while he was with DISCUS and a predecessor organization from 1971. Duncan has accepted our request that he make himself available to assist us as needed going forward.
“During the next few months we will all be working to make the smoothest possible transition and to put the Foundation on the soundest possible footing to continue our important work. I encourage all members and friends of the alcohol beverage industry who share our concern for young people to visit our web site at www.skyranchfoundation.org to learn more about our efforts and how to help!”
Sky Ranch Foundation Renews Commitment to Troubled Youth. Will Aid Programs Giving Boys and Girls a 2nd Chance Nationwide.
Fredericksburg, VA, May 6, 2011...Concluding more than 3 months of internal study and consultations brought on by the decision of Sky Ranch for Boys to cease operations due to declining placements, Sky Ranch Foundation has renewed its determination to make an important contribution to programs nationwide that are helping troubled boys and girls.
A Strategic Planning Committee under former Foundation Chairman George McCarthy has worked since mid-January to identify and define the right new mission for the organization. Foundation President, Ralph Aguera announced the new Mission Statement:
"Building on a 50+ year tradition, Sky Ranch Foundation is committed to giving troubled youth a second chance by identifying and offering financial aid to efficient and effective programs focused on improving the present quality of help available to these youth. We will continue to strive to be the uniting force for aid to troubled youth within the alcohol beverage and related industries and reflect our industry’s great concern and commitment without commercial self interest or promotion to the youth of America."
Mr. Aguera also announced the first grant awarded under the new plan is a $75,000 commitment to a surviving piece of the Sky Ranch Program - the Sky Ranch Reunification Program in Sioux City, Iowa. He described the Reunification program as "A highly effective and innovative project helping kids at risk to avoid the need for out of home placement, and helping those who have been sent to residential programs continue their progress once they return home. We’re especially happy to announce that the Sky Ranch Reunification Program is already working with several troubled young ladies, (in addition to young men) helping them turn their lives around."
The Foundation notes that there are over 100,000 young people who have been sent to residential placement programs nationwide. Many states are cutting resources for helping these young people, raising the risk many will fail to correct their behavior and present even more serious danger to society and themselves once they become adults.
Under their new plan, Sky Ranch Foundation will consider grant requests from qualified programs around the country. A $56,000 contribution has already been received and has been earmarked to help qualified programs in California. The Foundation expects to resume normal fundraising appeals very soon.
Information on how to apply for a grant can be obtained by clicking on this link or by contacting Foundation headquarters at P.O. Box 8420, Fredericksburg, VA 22404. The phone number is 540-891-7201.
Ralph Aguera summed up developments this way; "We are heartbroken to see the end of Sky Ranch for Boys, but we are committed to keep doing everything we can with the support of the generous people of our industry to make a real difference in the lives of the coming generation, to make sure as many troubled kids as possible get the help they need to become responsible, productive adults."
After 50 Years of Service, Sky Ranch for Boys to Close. Sky Ranch Foundation Continues Commitment to Troubled Kids.
January, 6, 2011, Sky Ranch, South Dakota….Sky Ranch For Boys issued the following statement today.
We are deeply saddened to report that our program will cease providing residential treatment and educational services for troubled teens in the first part of 2011. This painful decision was a result of the trend away from the kind of residential treatment program Sky Ranch offers in favor of less expensive, community based alternatives for kids in trouble and at risk. The Ranch is currently caring for less than 20 boys (down from 40 a few years ago) and that number is expected to decline sharply in the weeks ahead as states implement new budget policies. Although exacerbated by the recession, this does not appear to be a short term trend.
Sky Ranch Foundation leadership was closely consulted on the decision. The Foundation has assured the Sky Ranch for Boys Board that they will give as much help as possible so that the remaining boys at Sky Ranch are well cared for as the program is wound down in coming months. The Foundation will also assist the Sky Ranch Board as appropriate to make sure the dedicated employees of Sky Ranch are provided for.
Everyone concerned recognizes the great impact this will have on the local community as well as the staff and their families. Every conceivable alternative to closing was examined by Sky Ranch management, the Sky Ranch Board of Directors and by the leadership of the Foundation. Even with the continued generosity of Sky Ranch Foundation supporters who have contributed well over $20 million to help Sky Ranch in the past 50 years, the ranch needs more boys than are likely to be sent there.
Sky Ranch for Boys has been helping troubled kids since 1960, primarily on a campus and ranch owned by Sky Ranch Foundation on the South Dakota/Montana border. Sky Ranch Foundation, whose membership and contributors are primarily associated with the alcohol beverage industry, has provided the facility and as much as 35% of the annual operating budget of Sky Ranch for Boys since shortly after the Foundation was established in 1961.
The Sky Ranch Foundation plans to continue helping troubled youth by offering grants to outstanding programs across the United States. Sky Ranch Foundation President, Ralph Aguera said; “The decision to close Sky Ranch was extremely difficult for all concerned. For 50 years this program has been helping kids who others had given up on. We believe the positive spirit of Sky Ranch deserves to continue and to guide us in our efforts to help those in need. We will retain the name Sky Ranch Foundation even after the Ranch closes. This will help us and those who support our work to always remember what brought us together and to strive for the highest standards in all that we do. The people of the alcohol beverage industry are tremendously generous and we hope they will continue supporting Sky Ranch Foundation as we move into a new phase of our mission.Our goal is to continue and expand the great legacy of Sky Ranch by supporting the very best programs for troubled girls and boys nationwide.”
Members of the Sky Ranch Hall of Fame Class of 2010 proudly hold their new plaques as Foundation leaders and the crowd of nearly 200 congratulate them. L-R: Tom Cole, Foundation Chairman Mike Donohoe, John Esposito, Harry Wiles, Bill Walsh, Nancy Brady, Tobin Thomas & Foundation president, Ralph Aguera.
Sky Ranch Celebrates 50 Years of Service!
Nearly 200 Guests Helped Sky Ranch for Boys and Sky Ranch Foundation Honor the "Class of 2010" at the 19th Annual Hall of Fame Dinner on June 6th at The Lodge at Deadwood, Deadwood, SD! Hall of Fame Class of 2010: Nancy Brady Tom Cole John Esposito Tobin Thomas Bill Walsh Harry Wiles Click Here for More info on our Honorees!
Many guests stayed for the June 7 visit to Sky Ranch and celebration including special activities marking 50 years of progress helping troubled kids!
WAABI (World Association of the Alcohol Beverage Industries, Inc) held their annual Leadership Conference in Deadwood and participated in the special Sky Ranch activities!
Foundation Chairman Mike Donohoe announced he will step down from this post after more than a decade of leadership. He was presented with a football signed by the staff and boys and posed for this photo with some of the boys at Sky Ranch. "The boys are the reason for everything we do to help Sky Ranch!" said Donohoe.