Breckenridge Village Opens 3 New Residences


Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT) celebrated the grand opening of three new residences on its campus, offering a long-term home to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Bill Pigott speaks about his personal relationship of more than 20 years with Breckenridge Village of Tyler.

At the celebration on Friday, May 17, around 500 guests witnessed the official opening of the homes, including Les O’Farrell, BCFS Board of Trustees Chairman, and Dr. David Dykes, Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church.

This phase of the BVT campus construction, which began in 2017, is the culmination of work from diligent BVT staff, support from generous donors, and help from countless volunteers – including contractors, builders, and suppliers – coming together to create something that will last for generations of residents to come. A notable and stable source of assistance throughout the building process has been the Texas Baptist Men (TBM), led by Bill Pigott, who was a member of the TBM 22 years ago when they built the first six homes and the Robert M. Rogers Chapel in 1997.

Pigott and his family were present for the grand opening, where one of the three homes was dedicated and named in his honor. The other two homes were posthumously dedicated and named to Pierre de Wet and Paul Powell, whose families were both present at the dedication to take part in the ribbon cutting at the homes that bear their names.   

“It was amazing to see how this community came together to commemorate this important moment in our history. For the presence we feel from donors, supporters, and family to be fully realized and to have everyone here with us,” said Steven Campbell, Executive Director of BVT, “we simply could not be more proud and grateful.”

Guests enjoy lunch in the shade. (photo credit: SP7 Studios)

In addition to the ribbon cutting at each residence, butterflies were released at the homes. After the residences were officially opened, guests were able to tour each at their leisure before attending an outdoor lunch on the BVT campus.

“I stood here alongside Jean Breckenridge and Jimmy 21 years ago when we first broke ground,” said Kevin Dinnin, President and CEO of the BCFS System. “I know she would be as proud of this accomplishment as I am, and prouder still that we are answering the question she had so long ago – ‘What will happen to my child when I am gone?’ – for so many other families.”

Learn more about how Breckenridge Village of Tyler provides a loving home for so many in East Texas.


The family of Paul Powell stands in front of the home named posthumously in Powell’s honor.
The family of Pierre de Wet cut the ribbon in front of the home named in his memory.
Jimmy Breckenridge (left) and Kevin Dinnin discuss the latest.
Guests tour one of the newly opened homes.
Beverly Flynn, BVT's Special Events Coordinator, stands next to Grace Community School's Cougarettes from Tyler, Texas.
The kitchens in the new residences have the latest appliances and a healthy amount of space.
Attendants of the grand opening enjoy the day. (credit: SP7 Studios)
Each of the homes is outfitted with unique furniture in shared spaces, while the bedrooms are left for resident's to decorate as they wish.
Tammy (left), a BVT resident, delivers a message to a crowd of around 500 while standing next to Steven Campbell. Tammy has been a day-program participant for years but will now be able to live at BVT permanently thanks to the new homes. (credit: SP7 Studios)
Outdoor dining areas on the back side of each residence offer seating for up to eight and a wonderful view. (credit: SP7 Studios)
Dr. David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church, remembers riding around the empty lot that would become BVT with Kevin Dinnin in a small Nissan car. The two men met in the late '90s.
BVT residents had a front row seat at the celebration.
A trombone quartet plays while attendants enjoy lunch. (credit: SP7 Studios)
Roughly 500 guests came out to witness the grand opening of the new homes at BVT.

BVT Celebrates Breckenridge Men’s Breakfast for 10th Year

Written by Beverly Flynn

Dale Cummings, The "C", performs live
Dale Cummings, The “C”, performs live

The rain may have poured but it did not dampen the spirits of the over 330 individuals who attended this year’s 10th Annual Robert L. Breckenridge Men’s Breakfast at the beautiful KE Bushman’s Celebration Center in Bullard, Texas. Some classic car owners braved the rainy conditions and brought their memorable vehicles to the car show despite the inclement weather. Meanwhile, the guests who stayed indoors enjoyed hot coffee while listening to classic songs performed by East Texas’ own, Dale Cummings, otherwise known as The “C”.

KTBB Radio personality, Bill Coates, began the program with stories of his days broadcasting high school and college ball games. He then had the privilege of introducing Elijah McCown, Luke McCown’s eleven-year-old son, to lead everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Dr. Tony Black followed the pledge by singing the National Anthem.

Luke McCown with two of his six children
Luke McCown shown with two of his six children

Throughout the event, attendees lined up to bid on the wide variety of wonderful silent auction items provided by local businesses and individuals. After bids were placed, the guests took their seat at football-themed tables to enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by The Diner and served by the BVT staff and Ladies Auxiliary. The room was filled with men – both young and old – enjoying friendship and fellowship with one another.

Bob Holsomback showcases his rocking chair
Bob Holsomback showcases his rocking chair

As the meal started to wind down, an exciting and animated live auction began. This year’s live auction item was a craftsman-style rocking chair built by Bob Holsomback – longtime friend, donor, and supporter of BVT. The stunning chair was made from walnut wood and featured a calf-skin cushion. It took Bob over 200 hours of work to complete. The starting bid was $1,000 but the price quickly grew as men sparred over the coveted, custom-made rocking chair. To the cheers of everyone in the audience, the exquisite piece sold for a final bid of $6,000!

 

Volunteers helped serve breakfast
Volunteers helped serve breakfast

Once the bidding came to a close, Luke McCown, an East Texas native and former NFL quarterback, shared stories from his football career. In his 13 years of experience across seven NFL teams, Luke’s path did not always go the way he planned. However, he knew from his life verse in Proverbs 16:9 that “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps” (NKJV). Luke passionately encouraged his audience to “stand up and be men” who are firm in their faith, strong in their leadership, present and caring in their homes, and honest in their relationship with God. Luke continued, “Men should be the spiritual wind that blows in the sails of our families.” When Luke concluded his message, the audience gave a standing ovation in appreciation for his message of encouragement and wisdom. 

Special thanks goes to the Kiepersol family for their faithful support of Breckenridge Village and their generosity in offering the beautiful KE Bushman venue for this event. BVT is also very appreciative of Luke and his family, Bill Coates, The “C” Dale Cummings, the many businesses and individual table sponsors, the auction donors, the BVT Staff, the Ladies Auxiliary and the employees of The Diner. The day was a spectacular one all in benefit of the special individuals at Breckenridge Village.

To learn more about BVT, click here.

 

BVT Men’s Benefit Raises $50,000 for Scholarship Program

Fun, Fellowship and Classic Cars Too – Annual men’s benefit raises $50,000 for scholarship program that allows many residents to call the Village their home

Photo: John Bermudez and family

John Bermudez shared his family’s personal testimony about watching their loved one, his daughter Chloe, live a filling and purposeful life with Down Syndrome.

More than 180 sons and brothers, fathers and grandfathers recently came together for the 5th Annual Robert L. Breckenridge Men’s Breakfast at BCFS’ assisted living community in Tyler, Breckenridge Village. The event was full of fun and fellowship, to date raising more than $50,000 in scholarship assistance for the residents of BVT.

The dewy morning was the perfect setting for an antique and classic car show as local do-wop band, “The C,” filled the air with oldies from the 50’s & 60’s. Casey Rivers, from the hit TV show Nashville Star, opened the formal program singing “God Bless America” as BVT resident, Ryan, presented the American flag.

John Bermudez, Management Consultant with Chick-fil-A based in Atlanta, Georgia, served as the keynote speaker. Bermudez challenged the men in attendance to bridge the gap for individuals with intellectual disabilities in their community. His testimony came straight from the heart of a parent whose child struggles with a disability.

John’s daughter, Chloe, has Down Syndrome. Together with her sister, Phoebe, the two girls played a beautiful rendition of “Amazing Grace” on their violins. Phoebe shared the daily challenges and obstacles she sees Chloe face, reiterating her father’s message of using the strengths and gifts that each person has to bridge the gap for those with developmental disabilities.

Robert and Jean Breckenridge dreamt of creating a loving, faith-based home where adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities could live when their families could no longer care for them. Their dream became a reality 15 years ago thanks to global health and human service system, BCFS.

BVT’s scholarship program plays a vital role in providing residential care for “God’s Forever Children.” Thanks to the generosity of many, the Village is able to empower each resident and day program participant as he or she develops spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially in a safe, loving, and closely supervised environment.

Showcasing part of the music enrichment activities residents enjoy, the Men’s Breakfast concluded with a beautiful performance of “You Raise Me Up” by BVT resident, Brien W. He was joined by Brynne, also a BVT resident, who gracefully signed the song.

For more information about this special ministry for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, please visit www.BreckenridgeVillage.com.


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.