Volume 63 | No. 1 | Spring 2020
egan came to YBGR in May 2019, struggling with depression, substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress, and suicide ideation. She describes her life leading up to her placement as a “train wreck” which was evident in her failing grades, truancy, drug and alcohol use, confusion, and anger. Megan knew that she was spiraling out of control and was on a path of self-destruction. God had other plans for Megan, however, plans that would lead her to the Spiritual Life Program (SLP) at YBGR. Megan was raised in a churchgoing, Christian family. Around age 10, Megan’s mom Tammy started having tough personal issues and fell into a deep depression. The family’s cohesiveness and faith started to collapse. As her life became more chaotic, Megan thought that God no longer cared about her or heard her prayers. She started using drugs to cope, resulting in behavioral problems. When she first arrived at the Ranch, Megan wanted to fit in with the other lodge youth but struggled with communication. A self-described spitfire, her tendency to speak her mind and use foul language led to conflicts with peers.
Continued on page 6
Megan and her mom share the joy of baptism at the Ranch.
now realize that God loves me and is with me always. When I pray to Him, I feel His love for me and His presence with me.
A Chat With The Foundation President A Message From YBGR’s CEO Valuable, Hands-on Experience
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A Very Merry Christmas! First Yellowstone Academy Job Fair Memorials
Getting from Here to There Buildings Need Love Too 2019 Business Campaign
A CHAT WITH FOUNDATION PRESIDENT BILL HRITSCO
Dorothy T. Williams 1914- 2018
n November 2018, Yellowstone Foundation lost a dear friend, Dorothy T. “Donitza” Williams of Sun City, AZ. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 104. Donitza lived a remarkable life. She scraped and saved to put herself through college during the Depression, earning a teaching degree. When WWII broke out, Donitza joined the Navy, becoming one of only four women to achieve the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
Welcome Sara Hofer! Please join us in welcoming Sara Hofer to the YBGR Foundation as the new Vice President of Planned Giving. Sara earned a Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law. She and her husband Phillip have three children and own and run 3Pistol Productions & Hofer Ranch Bucking Bulls from their ranch northwest of Billings. When not working, raising children, and helping run a ranch, Sara also serves as a facilitator for the T-Group Leadership Program through Harvest Church. Sara joins the YBGRF Planned Giving team of Jim Soft, Laurie Perrodin, and Bill Hritsco.
Like many seniors, Donitza’s lifetime of hard work gave rise to a sizeable income in her retirement years. As she aged, she spent less and less – which only increased her taxable income. Donitza needed strategies to minimize her taxes. After consulting with Yellowstone Foundation, she used some of her accumulated income over the years to purchase Yellowstone Gift Annuities which created sizeable charitable deductions each year while still paying her a guaranteed income for life. Donitza had a heart for troubled children. She never had children of her own but considered the boys and girls at the Ranch to be her “kids.” She wanted to support Yellowstone’s mission yet retain control of her assets during her life and also provide assistance to her siblings and a friend upon her passing. Once again, Yellowstone had the solution. Donitza’s resulting estate plan assured that she had full use of her money during her life, and upon her death, a portion of her estate was used to fund Charitable Remainder Trusts which now pay income to her brother, sister, and a friend for the remainder of their lives. At their passing, any remaining funds will go to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. Not only did Donitza protect her funds from estate taxes, she also ensured her family and those close to her were taken care of, not to mention helping emotionally troubled boys and girls who will ultimately benefit from her generosity. Thank you, Donitza – we miss you.
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
A MESSAGE FROM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MIKE CHAVERS
Preparing Caring People M
ost of you are familiar with the mission of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch: “Caring People Preparing Youth for Life.” It is our guidepost. It is our ultimate responsibility. Hardly a day goes by at YBGR when we don’t discuss it or reflect on it. Our mission statement ties our present to the past and gives us our focus for the future. As we have begun our 63rd year of operations, I am struck by the fact that, while our ultimate mission remains unchanged, the ways in which we achieve that mission have to be constantly updated. The issues our kids face today are more challenging and complex than ever before, so our people must be better trained and more prepared than ever before. Which brings me to a question: who prepares the caring people? We are grateful to have excellent partners in this endeavor: Montana State University Billings, Rocky Mountain College, and Walla Walla University, just to name a few. Lately, YBGR has partnered with these outstanding schools to create internship programs at YBGR that better prepare individuals to fulfill our
mission: “Caring People Preparing Youth for Life.” Currently, YBGR has a total of 22 students participating in our internship program, where they are being coached, guided and trained by experienced and dedicated YBGR staff to deal with the real-life events and challenges they will face in the future. The students are smart, energetic, and mission driven. I’m grateful for the amazing and dedicated staff who are mentoring them. I can’t help but be optimistic about our future when I see them together. Following completion of their internship and graduation, we hope that many of them will choose to stay at YBGR and continue their careers with us. Others will go on to other agencies or roles across the country. All of them will carry our mission and values with them, wherever they go: “Caring People Preparing Youth for Life.” Thank you all for your prayers and support. None of this is possible without you.
“Caring People Preparing Youth for Life.”
Our mission statement ties our present to the past and gives us our focus for the future.
Valuable, Hands-on Experience
BGR is proud to be able to offer internships to up and coming professionals in the mental health related fields. Nicole Gioia recently completed her yearlong therapist internship at YBGR while pursuing her Master’s degree in Social Work. “My internship experience was amazing. I felt very supported throughout it all. The supervision was top notch and engaging as well as having handson experience as a therapist throughout that time. I was able to work as a fulltime behavior specialist and have multiple clients who I provided therapy to on an outpatient basis to meet the clinical requirements of the internship. I feel that I had enough practice and guidance throughout this time to begin my career after graduation. I was able to meet all hour requirements and enjoyed that YBGR offered paid internships as well, as this is rare.” In fact, Nicole is still with YBGR as a Program Therapist at a local high school. Nicole Gioia
is the season to be jolly and that is exactly how to describe our donors and volunteers this Christmas. The boys and girls who live at the Ranch or receive our Community Based Services do not always experience the joy and excitement of Christmas. In past years, this season has been a time of disappointment, conflict, and desperation.
The excitement and surprise of Christmas morning! Shoes are always a popular item for teens.
Everyone needs comfy pajama pants.
The children at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch experienced the magic of the holiday season this year with gifts picked out for them and chosen themselves on their Kohl’s shopping trip. Yellowstone’s Secret Santas provided funding for children to shop for everyday items such as clothing, socks, shoes, and even unique apparel in which the children can express their own individuality. This would not have been possible without the generosity of local businesses and organizations. On behalf of the staff and boys and girls at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch we thank you for spreading the spirit of giving and creating a happy holiday season for those in need.
The eagerness to find out what is inside each box and stocking!
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
A Visit from Ol ’St. Nick This year the students at Yellowstone Academy received a special visitor. The Downtown Exchange Club of Billings brought their wonderful Santa in the Schools program all the way out to the Ranch. Santa Clause stopped by to pass out presents to the kindergarten through eighth grade students. The halls and classrooms were filled with Christmas joy as each child’s face lit up when they received their gift.
Christmas Volunteers The success of this season would not have been achieved without all of Santa’s helpers. It is so important that the youth at Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch receive care and support, especially during the holiday season. That care and support was provided by all the amazing volunteers who donated their time and effort to make sure all the presents were beautifully wrapped for the boys and girls. YBGR is so fortunate to have loving volunteers and donors to help make this happy holiday season possible.
Phillips66 brought a whole crew of elves.
Santa and his elves make a surprise visit. Cushing Terrell, First Interstate Bank, and other helpers spread Christmas joy.
US Bank and Rimrock Foundation making sure every child has a nicely wrapped present. Every volunteer helped make Christmas special for the kids at YBGR.
First Yellowstone Academy Job Fair
This past fall, YBGR’s Individual Placement and Support Employment (IPS) held their first ever Yellowstone Academy (YA) Job Fair where youth in YBGR/YA programs were introduced to prospective employers. A total of five businesses from the Billings and Laurel, MT area participated in the YA Job Fair. Prior to the event, youth prepared resumes and participated in mock interviews with IPS Staff and YA teacher Michelle Jutila. At the job fair, McDonald’s, Aligned Medical Solutions, Taco Bell, Jiffy Lube, and Walmart staff asked and answered questions and gave out applications and other company information to youth. It was a huge success, and IPS is planning to hold another fair in the fall. YBGR staff and prospective employers joined forces to help kids with their job hunting skills.
Remember Us in Your Will
and Leave a Lasting Legacy By naming Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation in your will, you can guarantee that your legacy of caring for troubled and abused children will continue for generations to come. FIXED AMOUNT: I give the sum of $ ______________ to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. SPECIFIC PROPERTY: I give my ____________________ to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. PERCENTAGE OF REMAINDER: I give ________% of the remainder of my estate to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. CONTINGENCY: In the event ________________________ does not survive me, I give _______________________________ to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation. These samples are suggestions only. Legal documents should always be prepared by your attorney. Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation’s legal address is 2050 Overland Avenue, P.O. Box 80807, Billings, MT 59108. Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization. Gifts are tax deductible.
A Rebirth of Faith Continued from page 1
It was during this time Megan heard a sermon at Chapel service about God’s expectation of us to include others in our faith and life. After the service, she approached the chaplain, explaining that she felt God was speaking to her directly and wondering if this happened often. He assured her that God’s hand is always reaching out to us in all aspects of our lives. That was the turning point for Megan’s spiritual life and her faith in God. She embarked on the SLP’s 30-Day Challenge, reading from her Bible every day, praying for God’s guidance in her life, and journaling all her thoughts. She also credits the program’s Young Life Camp she attended last summer as opening her heart to the prospect of God’s help in making changes to her life. Megan has gained strength and courage to address life’s struggles. She recently gave her life over completely to God through her participation in Believer’s Baptism at the Ranch in October of 2019. Her mom was baptized along with her, symbolizing her faith in Christ and her support of Megan as well. What a blessed day! Megan credits the Lord for giving her the opportunity to reconnect with her Mom and for His guidance in restoring their relationship. “The old me had to go and forgiveness had to come, for both of us. I was reminded of that through a Chapel sermon at the Ranch recently, and I called my mom and asked for forgiveness from her. My mom then asked me to forgive her. We both cried tears of joy through all of it.” Indeed, Tammy has seen a great change in her daughter’s life as a result of her time at YBGR. “She knows there are boundaries in life now and accepts them. She has taken accountability for actions she has done and accepts things as they should be. She’s a completely different kid!” Megan has plans to get an education and become a doctor someday, using her faith in God to help others seek Him in their lives. “In all of it, He will be the center of my life!”
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
VIRGIL ALME Judy Riesenberg Myrna & Jerry Ronholm JEROME “JERRY” ANDERSON ClaraEllen Anderson KENGI AOKI Paulette AokiHamilton KAYLA MAE ASHLEY Leslie Cottom
SALLY GENSBERG Mike & Vonnie Cole JIM GERMANN Cheryl Whiteman KENNETH GILBERT Fern Wolery MIKE GLIDE Ron Paul & Kathy Holdener BURL GONION Joe & Betty Schultz EDWARD HALE Wilma Santoyo
GRANDMA BALL Wilma Santoyo
ALBERT “PAT” HALL Alice Humble
BYRON LEE BERG John M. & Leslie Smith
ETHEL HALLAND Charles Young
DICK BOND Ron Paul & Kathy Holdener BEV BREITBACH Donna Quick
WILLIAM HEITMAN Carrol & Tootie Lipp JOE THOMAS HELLE R.E. Miller & Sons
ALLAN BRILZ Hilands Golf Club
COLLEEN HENRICKSEN Larry & Meg Christiansen
DAVID BRINKA John & Sandi Vanni
ANN HOLMAN Linda & Doug Clark
PAT BRUNELLE Timothy Brunelle
ROWAN HOPKINSDOHERTY Sharlene Inglis
CLINT CARLETON George & Dee Hammond JOE CHAMPINE R.E. Miller & Sons GARTH CLINGER Kathy & Steven Clinger JOHN & ARLENE CLINGER Kathy & Steven Clinger KERRY CONRAD David & Janice Irvin STEVEN & KENNETH CRAMER Carole L. Moore DR. CRELLIN Theresa Lavallee DUANE & PEGGY DOYLE Kathy & Steven Clinger KATHRYN DUSENBERRY Jim & Esther Kalitowski TIM DWYER Tim Dwyer Farm Trust PAT EASTMAN Bunny Aumell CASEY LEA ELLIOTT R.E. Miller & Sons EARL W. ELLIOTT Randolph Elliott BILL FARNHAM Donna Farnham DOLORES FASANO Ludovico Fasano ARTHUR H. & ELIZABETH FAST Ronald & Marietta Olfert MICHAEL FRANICH Bill & Patricia Barringer DAMON GANNETT Marie & Jim Kelly
LOUISE “LOU” HORN Lanell & Kelly Ashley Joe & Peg Broesder David & Leslie Cottom Jeremy Sauskojus John & Doris Stipech MARGARET HORTON D.J. Smith “Darlene” RAY IHDE Florence Eike & Family DONNIE & SUSAN JACOBSON Kathy & Steven Clinger DOROTHY J. JOHNSON Richard L. Johnson KEITH P. JOHNSON Carol S. Johnson LAUREN JOHNSON Carrol & Tootie Lipp GEORGE JOVANOVICH Robert & Evelyn Hough MARTIN V. KANE Croft Petroleum Co. ANNE KEELY Lois & Doug Zeitner LYLE KROGEDAL John & Linda Sorensen LEN KUNTZ Donna Quick AILENE KUZARA Kathy & Steven Clinger CAROL ANN LANG Jane Johnston JOHN LAVALLEE Theresa Lavallee DAN LINSCOTT R.E. Miller & Sons
MARY LODMAN Joe & Linda Konesky SAM LOPEZ Nelson & Penny Cooper GRAMMA LOU Jonathan & Shaylin O’Neil & Yukon IRV LOZIER Tom Mitchell LEONE LUFBOROUGH Florence Eike & Family KENT LYBECK Fern Wolery JOE & EDITH MALIA Rob & Sheila Chouinard LANE MANNIX Jim & Dee Dee Lane VERN MATHENEY Kathy & Steven Clinger JOYCE HIRSCHY MCDOWELL R.E. Miller & Sons ALLYN S. MCGINLEY James McGinley JUDY METZGER Florence Eike & Family HUGH MEYER John & Carol Grover
DR. GRANT PETERSON Kathy & Steven Clinger PAUL PLYMALE Paula L. Plymale CLIFF POTTS Larry & Joan Sundheim Bruce Wendt, Claire Oakley & Family MARC PRIEST Arlene Priest GLORIA QUENZER Alice L. Humble Mary Ellen Olmstead LARRY RAGSDALE Shawn & Michelle Fuller DARRYL RAMBO Ron Paul & Kathy Holdener BETTY RAUNIG Lorietta Lyders
MERLE ROBBIE Jay & Barbara Prichard MALCOLM ROFFLER Doug & Linda Clark
ELAINE ROSAAEN Dale Rosaaen & Family
HENRY “BUS” MORRIS Ruben & June Opp TED MURPHY Lois & Russell James Family ROY MYRICK Eliza Myrick DORIS NELSON Kathy & Steven Clinger LOIS A. NELSON Ray & Marline Mattern CHASE NORDQUIST Bev Johnston DALE OLMSTEAD Mary Ellen Olmstead JAMES B. PERRODIN Laurie Perrodin LARRY PETERSEN Jim & Marie Kelly
GAIL WEIMAR Barbara “June” Seelye
IN HONOR OF:
AUDRA WILSON Susan Skrove
JAN & ROBIN ANDERSON Ed & Connie Lord
DEANNA WORST Joe & Betty Schultz
TOM & JOAN BRANTING Jonathan & Shaylin O’Neil & Yukon
ADA WRIGHT Wilma Santoyo DALE WRIGHT Wilma Santoyo
RICK CROSS & FAMILY Wilma Santoyo
WILBUR WRIGHT Wilma Santoyo
WILLIAM CROSS & FAMILY Wilma Santoyo
DONNA HIRNING Barbara Wilson
JAYNE MILLUM Barbara Wilson
AMY LANE & FAMILY Wilma Santoyo
BARBARA LORD & TOM PARR Ed & Connie Lord
ERIC LANE & FAMILY Wilma Santoyo
THOSE SERVING IN THE US MILITARY Kathy & Steven Clinger
ED & CONNIE LORD Genny & Gary Lord
DAVE & PAM TODD Donna & Kyle Rudolph
GARY & GENNY LORD Ed & Connie Lord
JANE YANTIS Robert & Carolyn Lord
GREGORY R. MILLER Rodney & Becky Wood
FRANKLIN ROBBIE Jay & Barbara Prichard
DEVIN LEE MICHAELIS Diana & Denny Michaelis Mary Steinhauser Dorene Thompson
SKULASON MOE Bill & Joan Freeman
A special word of thanks to all donors listed here who support Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation through their memorial gifts.
CURTIS RICE Maxine Drew
JABEZ & EUNICE ROGERS Jayne Rogers
DOROTHY J. MITCHELL Don & Jan Dahlberg
September 14, 2019 – January 15, 2020
CRAIG REHM R.E. Miller & Sons
WILLIAM H. “BILL” MICHAEL Jane Johnston
CATHARINE MIKKOLA June Seelye
Memorial and Honor Gifts Form Amount: $
JERRY SAWICKI Gladys Henry
RANDALL “RANDY” SCOTT John Eastman
JESS F. SMEE Fran Ford CHARLES FIDDLER SMITH Carol Smith GERALD STANLEY Carrol & Tootie Lipp JANICE STRUTZ Andy & Joy Holman Cathy Pomeroy JAMES SUTTON James & Candace Soligan ROBERT SYPHER John & Linda Sorensen
IN MEMORY OF: Name City
IN HONOR OF: Name City
For: Send cards to:
TOM TAUSCHER George & Dee Hammond MAJOR GENERAL NEIL D. VAN SICKLE Lee & Helen Harris GORDY WALLER Donna Quick & Family DORIS WARD Carrol & Tootie Lipp STANLEY WATERS Beverly Johnston Jerry & Cheryl Whiteman
Please send me Memorial Forms: (
booklets of six) (
pads of 25)
Mail to: YBGR Foundation, P.O. Box 80807, Billings, MT 59108
Memorial gifts can also be made online at
Getting from Here to There
ll good things must come to an end, as the saying goes, and so too did the end come for the Vo-Tech’s 1986 Chevy Suburban that had been used for everything from transporting kids around campus, to picking up lumber, to delivering pheasants, and so much more. The engine blew and there was no fixing it this time. With the black and red beast out of commission, staff were having to use their personal vehicles to fill in which was not a long-term solution. The Vo-Tech program needed new transportation. Thanks to the generosity of a local foundation which has also provided for a front-end loader and a truck for the Homes for Heifers program over the years, the Ranch was able to purchase two Suburbans – a 1987 model that will do the down and dirty work of the Vo-Tech program and a much newer 2009 Suburban purchased from Underriner Motors at a discount that will be used to transport kids and will eventually take the place of the Vo-Tech’s workhorse (when the 1987 model kicks the bucket). With 650 kids served each day by YBGR, many in the Community Based Services program, the Ranch is always in need of safe, reliable vehicles – especially sedans. If you are interested in donating a vehicle, please contact the Foundation at 406.656.8772 or email@example.com.
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. MATTH EW 7 :7
Buildings Need Love Too With a 410-acre campus and 30+ buildings, maintenance and upkeep of buildings is the Ranch’s largest ongoing financial need. The Adopt-A-Lodge program was created to offset some of those costs and to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for kids who call the Ranch home. Businesses “adopt” a building on campus and the annual adoption fee goes to the maintenance of the building or other, more pressing building needs. In acknowledgement of the gift, an “Adopted by” sign is hung on the building, right under the building’s name. A special thank you to this year’s AAL sponsors: Examples of Ranch building
Mary Alice Fortin Foundation Tom & Joan Scott Charles M. Bair Family Trust Ameriprise Financial Services/David Milkovich First Interstate Bank Hoiness Family Foundation
Bud & Joanne Leuthold Merrill Lynch/Anderson, Hedge, Wagner & Assoc. PacificSource Health Plans Pennmont Foundation Singh Contracting, Inc. Sodexo US Bank
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation
The two new Suburbans and the old workhorse (at top).
2019 Business Campaign Thank you to all of those who supported the 2019 Business Campaign that, to date, has raised close to $70,000 for IT needs at the Ranch. A special thank you to our major sponsors:
Darlene & Marvin Hartze Dorothy Bracken Marta Memorial Trust Ron Pierce Zoot Enterprises, Inc. Ameriprise Financial Services/Eric Dryden Selby’s Essco Wells Fargo Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., PC Avitus Technology Services Maguire Iron, Inc. EBMS
To update your mailing address, please call 406-656-8772 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Official publication of Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch Foundation | P.O. Box 80807 | Billings, MT 59108 Editor: Kristi Farver Oaks | Managing Editor/Author: Anya Mohr | Photography: Anya Mohr