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.
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.”