Abilene men gather for a hearty breakfast to benefit local youth

Photo: Jimmy Morris

ABILENE – On Thursday August 7th, local men gathered for the Men’s “Field of Dreams” Steak and Eggs Benefit Breakfast hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services. The event raised more than $38,000 for much-needed services for Big Country teens and young adults provided at BCFS’ Abilene Transition Center and Our House transitional home.

Guest speaker Jimmy “The Rookie” Morris, whose life inspired the book and movie “The Rookie,” attended the breakfast to share inspirational words about not giving up on your dreams. Approximately 150 guests enjoyed a steak and eggs breakfast, live music and a viewing of classic cars at the Abilene Country Club. Key sponsors that helped make the event possible include Jay and Nancy Capra, Dodge Jones Foundation, Dian Graves Owen Foundation, Hendrick Medical and BCFS.

“BCFS is proud to be part of a community that is so in tune with the needs of its youth,” says Terri Hipps, BCFS’ Community Services Division Executive Director. “When we provide young men and women with educational and economic opportunity, and serve as a stabilizing force in their tumultuous lives, it’s good for the entire Big Country community. The men that enjoyed breakfast with us are part of that stabilizing force for the next generation in Abilene.”

The BCFS Abilene Transition Center is a safe-haven for local youth, many of whom are at-risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges that could inhibit a successful transition into adulthood and independence. The center serves youth in foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, and other young adults who are struggling by providing case management, counseling, mentorships, assistance with education, employment and housing location.

BCFS’ Our House is a transitional living home for young men ages 18 to 23 struggling with homelessness. Residents of Our House receive help from the transition center to find employment, save money, and make a plan to become self-sufficient.

Guest speaker Jimmy Morris shared his life story with the crowd, which inspired the movie “The Rookie” where he was played by Dennis Quaid. Growing up, Jimmy dreamed of playing major league baseball, but injuries and life got in the way. Ten years after he walked away from the minor leagues, became a father and a high school baseball coach, he told his team if they won their local championship he would try out again for the big leagues. When he kept his word and tried out, he finally achieved his big league, childhood dreams at the age of 35.

“Many of the youth we serve have suffered some kind of abuse or neglect in their past,” says center director Johnny Nguyen. “So Jimmy’s advice to never give up really resonates with our youth. This event will go a long way towards helping us continue our work with young people who are struggling.”

For more information about BCFS Abilene Transition Center services, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Abilene or call (325) 692-0033.

To support the work of the transition center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (325) 692-0033, give securely online, or send checks to 1290 South Willis Suite 55, Abilene, Texas 79605.