BCFS Celebrates “National Foster Care Month”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Lifts Up Youth in Foster Care

May is “National Foster Care Month”

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Kids Count Data Center, in 2014 there were more than 30,000 children in Texas’ foster care system. The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work’s Child and Family Research Institute has shown that foster youth, statistically, have poor educational outcomes, are less likely to finish high school, go to college or hold stable employment.
As the nation marks May as “National Foster Care Month,” BCFS Health and Human Services works daily to help young adults and youth in foster care grow toward independent adulthood and self-sufficiency.
At BCFS’ transition centers throughout Texas, local youth in and aging out of foster care and those at risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges have ”one-stop” access to case management, counseling, mentoring, educational opportunities, employment connections, housing location and legal service – all free of charge.
Formal programs focus on equipping young adults with “real life” knowledge and skills, such as interviewing for a job, balancing a checkbook, healthy decision making, choosing a career path, teen pregnancy prevention and the consequences of being sexually active. The organization focuses on offering a support system to youth in foster care that helps them grow into healthy, productive adults.
“These young people are in our community, and some have endured serious tragedies and challenges through no fault of their own,” say center directors. “Our mission is to help youth learn responsibility, seek and find opportunities and, ultimately, create a healthy, loving environment for themselves, their families and our larger community.
“What we offer at the center teaches them that everyone is important, and everyone can make a positive difference.”
BCFS also offers foster care services that connect youth with safe and loving foster homes. Adults who would like information about becoming a foster parent can call (210) 208-5629 or visit DiscoverBCFS.net/FosterCare.
For more information about the BCFS’ transition centers, their programs or how to help, visit DiscoverBCFS.net.

BCFS Receives National Contract to Deploy Case Management Teams During Disasters

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division receives national contract to deploy case management teams to disaster-affected states, tribes and territories

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division (BCFS EMD) was contracted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response (OHSEPR) to provide immediate disaster case management services to any state, tribe, and territories in the U.S. affected by a natural or man-made disaster – like a hurricane, earthquake, terrorist attack or hazardous materials incident.
BCFS EMD will develop a national turnkey capability to rapidly deploy teams to provide immediate disaster case management services as tasked by ACF. If a disaster strikes, a team of trained disaster case managers and emergency responders can be deployed to the disaster site within 72-hours to begin meeting the needs of survivors and those impacted by the disaster. ACF deploys its Immediate Disaster Case Management Program when activated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). ACF IDCM is one alternative available to FEMA for the Federal Disaster Case Management Program.
The BCFS Disaster Case Management Team (DCMT) will include case managers, community coordination specialists, logistics specialists, database specialists, and financial coordinators. Teams will be totally self-sufficient and supported by the EMD Incident Management Team (IMT) with full operational, logistical and planning capability. The BCFS teams will provide staffing for ACF’s IDCM missions as directed by OHSEPR.
The DCMT will identify survivors’ most critical needs including food, clothing, shelter, medical care, immediate mental health needs; and secondary needs including child care, temporary housing, financial aid, prescriptions, transportation, utilities, and physical safety and security.
“We believe the effective development of deployable disaster case management resources by the federal government fills a critical role in national preparedness and recovery,” says Kari Tatro, BCFS’ Executive Vice President for Emergency Management Operations. “We are positioned to support the development of a truly unique, national infrastructure that is reflective of our existing deployment model for IMT and Disaster Medical Staffing Teams (DMST).”
BCFS EMD is highly experienced in deploying hundreds of staff for extended periods of response and recovery. Currently BCFS EMD maintains multiple deployable teams with various disciplines, including over 350 case managers, an all-hazards IMT and DMSTs.
The one-year contract includes four optional annual renewal years by OHSEPR.
BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations that operates over 74 different programs on a daily basis, covering a range of health and human services.
“Our organizational capacity in residential, community-based and emergency management services allows us to leverage the expertise and resources of our divisions during catastrophic incidents,” says Thelma Gutierrez, BCFS EMD Program Manager.
BCFS has extensive experience with emergency operations’ coordination and plan development through numerous responses to incidents, including the Branch Davidian Incident; Southeast Asia Tsunami; Hurricanes Emily, Katrina, Rita, Dean, Dolly, Gustav, Ike and Alex; Haiti Earthquake; Eagle Pass Tornado; FLDS Event; Texas Wildfire Response; and H1N1 Flu.
In 2012 and again in 2014, BCFS was tasked by ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement with providing turn-key emergency sheltering, including disaster case management services, to thousands of youth when an unprecedented number of unaccompanied, undocumented youth entered the United States. BCFS Health and Human Services provided comprehensive services – including case management, educational, medical, and recreation – for several thousand children.
BCFS HHS has remained at the forefront of every major disaster affecting Texas since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when BCFS HHS, at the request of the State of Texas, sheltered over 1,700 medical evacuees for approximately 8 weeks.
BCFS Health and Human Services has become a trusted partner of local, state and national organizations to provide comprehensive planning, management and response for disasters. For more information about BCFS’ Emergency Management Division, visit www.BCFSEMD.org.

April is “National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ San Antonio Transition Center Programs Aim to End Child Abuse

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, last year more than 66,000 children in Texas were victims of abuse or neglect, and more than 17,000 were removed from their homes for their own protection. As the nation marks April as “National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month,” local BCFS Health and Human Services parenting education programs work to prevent child abuse year-round.

Every year, more than 2,000 families participate in parenting education programs, support groups and counseling at the BCFS San Antonio Transition Center. During a typical weekly family workshop, parents and caregivers are taught how to resolve stress, discipline children in a healthy way, and receive help accessing community resources. Classes include hands-on activities focused on positive parent-child communication, and intimate group discussions that help parents reaffirm their strengths and gain confidence. Free counseling is also offered to families in Spanish and English that includes a child abuse prevention training and crisis intervention.

Miriam Attra, BCFS Director of Community Based Services for San Antonio, believes educating parents is the key to stopping cycles of child abuse. “Oftentimes, parents in high-risk households treat their children the way their parents treated them, in some cases not knowing it’s actually abusive behavior,” says Attra. “But when we teach parents how to respond in difficult situations—like how to calm a toddler’s tantrum or bond with an impulsive teenager—they’re less likely to fall back on old, unhealthy habits.”

Parenting education and support groups are offered through Precious Minds New Connections, funded by the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, and Texas Families Together and Safe, funded by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Counseling and crisis intervention is provided through the Services To At Risk Youth program.

To connect directly with San Antonio families during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, BCFS participated in Fiesta de los Niños on April 18th, the official Fiesta event for children. Fiesta de los Niños featured a parade through Port San Antonio, games, rides and musical performances. Parent educators with BCFS’ child abuse prevention programs joined in the fun, parading down the street in true Fiesta fashion sporting hats they decorated themselves. BCFS’ parent educators will also attend the United Way Kids’ festival on April 25th.

Program Director Whitney Vela says joining Fiesta events is one way BCFS invites local families to participate in parent support groups. “When parents and caregivers come together at our support groups, they’re reminded that they’re not alone,” says Vela. “They can lean on BCFS and a network of other parents to learn how to create a safe and loving home environment. It really does ‘take a village,’ as they say, and BCFS works to build villages around folks that need support.”

In addition to parenting education, the BCFS San Antonio Transition Center serves youth in foster care and young adults struggling to transition to adulthood by providing case management, counseling, mentorships, and assistance with education, employment and housing location.

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services urges community members to report suspected child abuse by calling 1-800-252-5400. Signs of abuse include unexplained injuries, aggressive or withdrawn behavior, a child’s fear of seeing their parents, and malnourishment.

For more information about BCFS’ San Antonio Transition Center and child abuse prevention, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/SanAntonio or call (210) 733-7932.

Brenda Thompson joins BCFS in Kerrville

BCFS Health and Human Services taps Thompson as Director of Community Based Services in Kerrville

KERRVILLE — BCFS Health and Human Services has named Brenda Thompson the new Director of Community Based Services at the BCFS Kerrville Transition Center. In this role, Thompson will oversee all programs operated at the BCFS Kerrville Transition Center, and will be at the helm when the new BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center opens later this year.

In her new role, Thompson will oversee all BCFS programs in Kerrville, manage the new center’s key projects, actively engage in community education and outreach and be responsible for all BCFS operations in Kerrville.

Thompson joins BCFS having previously served as CEO of the Kerr County YMCA and Executive Director of the Kerr County Day Care Center. Over her 18-year career in social services, Thompson secured $2 million in grants, initiated the merger of the Kerr County Day Care Center and the Kerr County YMCA, and operated programs that served thousands of families across the Hill Country.

“Retirement was short lived for me,” says Thompson. “When the opportunity with BCFS presented itself, I knew I needed to be a part of bringing a new nonprofit resource center to Kerrville that would help so many people in our community. My passion is working with youth and families so I am thrilled to be a part of BCFS and the many programs that they offer people in our area.”

BCFS Development Officer and Kerrville-native Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is excited to welcome Thompson to the team. “Brenda and I worked together for years in local non-profits before joining BCFS, so I have seen first-hand how passionate she is about helping people. She’ll be a valuable asset to BCFS,” said Maxwell-Rambie.

“Brenda joins the BCFS team with a wealth of experience under her belt serving folks in Kerrville,” says Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President-Community and International Operations. “She is highly respected and well-known in the community because she has served here for nearly 20 years. We are honored that she’ll become the face of BCFS in the Hill Country.”

Construction is currently underway on the nearly 20,000 square-foot BCFS Texas Hill Country Resource Center. The new building will house several social service agencies and be the centerpiece of the non-profit block on Main Street. According to Maxwell-Rambie, the shared-space model emphasizes accountability in the youth and families it serves, ensures services are unduplicated, and promotes efficiency through the leveraging of shared talents and resources.

In the new center, BCFS will provide teens, young adults and families with counseling, case management, access to medical care, emergency housing assistance, life skills training, literacy training, educational support, and connections to employment and educational opportunities all under one roof.

To learn more about the BCFS Texas Hill Country Transition Center, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/Kerrville.

# # #

BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries. 

Foster youth meet with lawmakers to lobby and advocate

Local youth in foster care meet with Austin lawmakers to lobby for issues impacting foster care system

BCFS Health and Human Services’ youth travel to Youth In Action Capitol Day during Texas’ 84th Legislative Session

AUSTIN — Twenty youth in foster care from BCFS’ San Antonio, McAllen and Corpus Christi Transition Centers met with lawmakers to lobby for issues impacting Texas’ foster care system during the annual Youth In Action Capitol Day on March 27th. The youth led presentations regarding bills under discussion this legislative session, covering issues like the overuse of medications in foster youth, and the importance of higher education.

BCFS’ youth met with the offices of Texas State Senators Juan Hinojosa and Carlos Uresti, and State Representatives Ruth Jones McClendon, Diego Bernal and Justin Rodriguez to advocate for ten bills that would impact the state foster care system.

For weeks leading up to the event, BCFS worked with each youth to pore over the details of the ten relevant proposed bills. A series of morning presentations precluded the dignitary meetings in which the youth spoke on the issues they were most passionate about, including homelessness, mental health treatment, and foster parent certifications.

Kicharnae Earls was one of the youth who participated in the event. “I feel like my voice was heard,” says Earls. “I enjoyed that they listened to my concerns and took my opinions into consideration.”

“Youth in Action Capitol Day teaches our youth about the legislative process and policy-making,” said BCFS San Antonio Transition Center Program Director Stacy Lee. “It’s powerful to visit the Capitol where it all takes place, and learn first-hand how ideas become laws that eventually affect our daily lives.”

The BCFS San Antonio, McAllen and Corpus Christi Transition Centers serve youth in foster care, those who aged out of foster care, youth in the juvenile justice system, and those struggling with poverty, homelessness or an unstable home life. Youth rely on the centers for case management, life skills workshops, and help with education, employment and housing location. BCFS Health and Human Services operates seven youth transition centers across Texas.

Youth in Action Capitol Day, which draws about 300 youth and adults from all over Texas each session, is a program of  Texas Network of Youth Services. Youth from BCFS have participated in the event during every legislative session since 2005.

For more information about BCFS’ youth transition centers, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net.

# # #

BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

 

 

 

BCFS Education Services begins early registration

Program promotes academic achievement and school readiness for children ages 3-4

BCFS Education Services’ Head Start is now accepting applications for three and 4yearolds in Comal and Guadalupe counties. Marion and Seguin Independent School Districts are accepting both three and 4-year-olds. New Braunfels Independent School District is currently accepting 4yearolds only. On early enrollment days listed below, families may apply in-person for their child to join a BCFS Education Services’ Head Start classroom.

Head Start provides education, health and social services to pre-school children to help them build strong foundations for success rooted in academic achievement and healthy living. The program promotes school readiness by enhancing the child’s social and cognitive development, while connecting families to helpful community resources.

New Braunfels ISD
Only accepting 4-year-olds

Lone Star Elementary:
April 13th, 4 to 6 PM
April 16th and 17th, 8 AM to 3 PM

Klein Road Elementary:
April 14th, 4 to 6 PM

County Line Elementary:
April 15th, 4 to 6 PM

Seguin ISD

Ball Early Childhood Center
April 20th, 8 AM to 3 PM
April 21st and 22nd, 8 AM to 3 PM
April 23rd, noon to 7 PM

Marion ISD

Norma Krueger Elementary
March 28th, 9 to 11 AM

Services include:
  • Preschool
  • Individualized teaching
  • Degreed teachers
  • Bilingual services
  • Social services
  • Parent trainings
  • Meals and snacks
  • Disability services
  • Dental and wellness exams
  • Health services
  • Field trips
  • Bus and ADA transportation
    at some facilities

A child is eligible to enroll in Head Start if his or her family falls in one of these categories: Family is receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); family’s gross income falls below federal poverty guidelines; a family member living with and supported by the child’s family is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI); family is homeless; or the child is in foster care. To be eligible, the child must be three or 4yearsold on or before September 1, 2015 and live in Guadalupe, Comal, Atascosa, Wilson, Karnes or Kendall County. Children with disabilities may also be eligible.

To apply, call or visit the Head Start office in your county. Applications are available online at DiscoverBCFS.net/HeadStart, along with a list of necessary enrollment documents. For more information, residents of Guadalupe & Comal Counties can call (830) 331-8908.

BCFS Education Services is part of the global BCFS system of health and human service non-profit organizations. To learn more about BCFS Education Services’ Head Start program, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/HeadStart.


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected, assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities, mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services, medical services, transitional living services for at-risk youth and those in the juvenile justice system, residential camping and retreats for children and families, and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Project HOPES hosts literacy event to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday

Mayor Pro Tem Esmeralda Lozano read a Dr. Seuss book to the childrenLA FERIA – The BCFS Harlingen Family Services Center’s Project HOPES program hosted a literacy event for local children and families at La Feria Public Library to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s 111th birthday. Over 50 children attended, and each took home a Dr. Seuss book courtesy of the BCFS Harlingen Family Services Center.

The event, held March 28th in conjunction with the National Education Association’s Read Across America initiative, featured readings from several Dr. Seuss books in Spanish and English, plus a Truffula Tree-making class, face-painting, and gift bags for kids and parents.

Leaders from across the city attended the event in support of Project HOPES. La Feria Mayor Pro Tem Esmeralda Lozano read a book to the children, and Tabitha Outlaw, Special Event Coordinator for the City of La Feria, volunteered to help children make bookmarks. Commissioner Julian Guevara Jr. and Commissioner Olga Maldonado were also in attendance.

Photo: Children were given Dr. Seuss books and gift bags

“When a parent reads a book to their child, they’re not only helping them reach critical educational milestones, they’re strengthening the parent-child bond,” says BCFS Senior Program Director Jeff Wolpers. “Since the goal of Project HOPES is to help build healthy, stable families, we wanted to use the event to remind parents of creative, fun ways to build that bond, and also inspire a love of reading in children.”

Project HOPES is a community-based program for families with children five years old and younger that provides parenting education, support groups and counseling to help families overcome challenges. The program serves families in Cameron County and is funded by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

“We are grateful for the support of city leaders and the La Feria Public Library,” says Wolpers. “The whole community has embraced the BCFS Harlingen Family Services Center and been so welcoming to us. We are here to serve this community and touch as many lives as possible, so we treasure these opportunities to bring some light-hearted fun to families.”

Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. His wildly imaginative stories have captivated young readers for decades, teaching values like responsibility, caring for the environment, and positive thinking. Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, and Horton Hears a Who are among his most popular works.

For more information about Project HOPES and the BCFS Harlingen Family Services Center, call (956) 230-3849 or visit DiscoverBCFS.net/HOPES.

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BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

 

 

 

National Day of Prayer Community Breakfast – Kerrville

BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The BCFS System leadership has elected to host and sponsor a community breakfast in Kerrville in support of the 2017 National Day of Prayer. Created in 1952 and signed into law by President Truman, the National Day of Prayer is an inspiring way to bring people of all faiths together to pray and mobilize with a common focus.

Time:
Coffee and music beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Where:
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church – Tucker Hall
321 St. Peter’s Street, Kerrville, TX

Theme:
Brining our Community together in honor of
National Day of Prayer

Menu:
Pancakes, Steak, Eggs & More!
Catering by Rails

Please RSVP by April 21, 2017 to kathleen.maxwell@BCFS.net or call (830) 928-9387

Baseball legend Jimmy Morris joins BCFS’ team

SAN ANTONIO — Many people know him as “The Rookie,” from the hit Disney film that captivated sports fans and moviegoers across the nation. From humble beginnings in Brownwood, Texas, Jimmy Morris rose from the ranks of high school baseball coach to Major League Baseball pitcher. At the age of 35, in a league where most players retire in their thirties, Jimmy made his rookie debut as a starting pitcher for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Photo: Dennis Quaid, Jimmy Morris

Morris coached baseball at Reagan County High School in the 1990s in Big Lake, Texas, a west Texas oil drilling community. When his team of high school students challenged him to heed his own advice to never give up on your dreams, they made a friendly wager: If his team won the district championships, he would try out for the majors again, reigniting a dream extinguished ten years prior because of an injury.

While his major league career only lasted a few years due to persistent tendonitis, Morris defied the odds and became a living testament for the power of a can-do attitude. His inspirational story was captured in his memoir, The Oldest Rookie, and made famous when Dennis Quaid played Jimmy in the 2002 film “The Rookie.”

His journey led him to BCFS, a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations headquartered in San Antonio. BCFS has named Jimmy Morris the agency’s new Motivational Specialist. In this role, he’ll speak to youth and families in BCFS programs and facilities around Texas, including youth transition centers and transitional housing for youth in foster care, and others struggling with issues like poverty, homelessness or abuse.

“I want to give back,” Morris says. “It’s not about me. It’s about what God can do through me.”

Jimmy has served as the keynote speaker at BCFS fundraising events in Lubbock, Abilene and Kerrville the past several years. Ben Delgado of BCFS’ Community Services Division called Jimmy’s story “truly inspiring.”

“BCFS aims to empower struggling teens and families to dream big, set goals, and work hard to achieve them,” says Delgado. “So it’s powerful to show them what the quintessential underdog is capable of. Jimmy is living proof that no dream is too big.”

Throughout his major league career, Jimmy always kept in mind the lessons he learned from his grandfather, Ernest, about perseverance and success. “Remember who you are and where you came from,” his grandfather would say. Now 51, Jimmy lives those wise words daily.

As Jimmy works to inspire those in need, he confronts a daunting obstacle of his own. In 2013, Jimmy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system that causes uncontrollable tremors throughout the body. As champions do, Jimmy has persevered through the diagnosis and pushes onward.

BCFS Health and Human Services operates transition centers across Texas that provide youth counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, and housing. Several BCFS transition centers also offer parenting education programs that connect parents to community resources to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Jimmy’s enthusiasm is evident and he’s eager to serve as motivational speaker, mentor and advocate for BCFS youth and families. “It’s about who I can help, and who I can push,” he says. “It’s my job to tell the kids what they’re capable of.”

All this coming from a man who can throw six different fast balls; his fastest was clocked at 102 mph. And while he admits that life can come at you fast, he stands firm in his belief that with God all things are possible, and it’s never too late to make a difference.

For more information about BCFS Health and Human Services, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net.


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected, assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities, mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services, medical services, transitional living services for at-risk youth and those in the juvenile justice system, residential camping and retreats for children and families, and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

BVT Hosts Musical Night to Remember

Breckenridge Village of Tyler hosts musical benefit event
A Night to Remember: Doo Wop at the Soda Shoppe”

Photo: A group singing on stageTYLER – It was truly a night to remember for residents and friends of Breckenridge Village of Tyler at BVT’s musical benefit event, “A Night to Remember: Doo Wop at the Soda Shoppe.” The stage at Bushman’s Celebration Center was full of the sights and sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s.  About 700 guests enjoyed performances by local and nationally-renowned musicians, but the highlight of the night came as residents of Breckenridge Village took the stage to sing and dance.

Breckenridge Village of Tyler is a faith-based residential community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event raised over $33,000 that will be used for the care of BVT residents and day program participants.

On Friday February 27th, audience members dressed in poodle skirts, penny loafers and other nostalgic duds from the era. Neal Sharpe, a singer who traveled and performed with several of the original doo wop bands of the 50’s and 60’s, performed at the event. Casey Rivers, The GTOs, Shake Rattle n Roll, The C, November Roberts, and Tyler Junior College’s Apache Belles also graced the stage. Radio personality Mr. Tom Perryman from the Ranch Radio Group and his wife Billie were among the distinguished guests in attendance.

Photo: Women signing on stageWhen BVT resident Jesse sang the 1957 classic “My special angel,” the crowd erupted in applause and a standing ovation. Jesse’s friends from BVT danced behind him, and the act ended with residents dancing the twist to the music of Dale Cummings.

“Our 5th annual Night to Remember was a huge success thanks to an outpouring of support from so many folks in the community,” says Linda Taylor, Director of Development at Breckenridge Village. “Most importantly, our residents had an amazing time preparing and performing. We treasure every moment we get to put our residents in the spotlight.”

Donors and community partners who helped make the event possible include Kiepersol Enterprises’ Pierre de Wet, Debra and Jeff Johnston of the Chick-fil-A on South Broadway, and Allison and Ikey Eason of the Chick-fil-A on Troup Highway, and Brookshire’s Grocery. The star-studded, talented lineup was under the direction of Green Acres Baptist Church’s Penny and Kevin Burdette.

For more information about Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT), contact Linda Taylor at 903-596-8100 or visit www.BreckenridgeVillage.com.

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Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT) is part of BCFS’ global system of health and human service non-profit organizations. BVT is a faith-based community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual and developmental disabilities. Located on a tranquil 70-acre campus just west of Tyler, Texas, our community offers exceptional residential and day enrichment programs to meet the needs of the persons entrusted to our care. We are dedicated to serving a group of amazing people—God’s Forever Children—in a warm, safe, family-like setting that seeks to empower each resident as he or she develops spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in a safe, loving, and closely supervised environment.