Rounding Up Character at Sunny Crest Youth Ranch
6/7/2019
Sign at Sunny Crest Youth Ranch on sunny day with two of the housing units in view

A safe haven, a second chance and an opportunity to redefine their future - the Sunny Crest Youth Ranch (SCYR) strengthens character in young men by building life-long skills and providing a safe living environment.

Founded in 2007 by a local teacher, principal and mentor of many, Ron Coppess and his wife, Ellyn, recognized the need for a center where neglected boys could get the help and attention they need. Their goal was to create a safe place for youth to gain responsibility and understand the value of hard work. The various programs at SCYR challenge young men, ages 10-17, helping to develop their character and encouraging them to reach their potential. Raising animals for the 4-H fair, building a shed together, working in the metal shop and gardening are all activities offered by the ranch that help build character while expanding their experiences.

Sitting on over 80 beautiful acres in Sunfield, Michigan, the boys learn how to maintain the fully functioning ranch. Working on the ranch equips them with team-building skills, a sense of purpose and allows them to establish healthy relationships with both animals and people. To ensure academic requirements are met, SCYR works directly with the school district. Daily study groups and tutors are always available so the boys keep their education on track. By offering these hands-on experiences and activities, the ranch gives troubled youth a chance to overcome past struggles and focus on their future’s success.

“In the summertime, the boys are involved in program-related activities like the hands-on vocational program and the animal assisted program,” says Brian DeVos, executive director of SCYR. “During the school year we offer educational activities to help the boys with school work.”

Fundraising events are held to raise awareness and funding for the SCYR each year like the annual Fore the Kids Golf Outing. Since 2000, the Fore the Kids golf outing has raised approximately $80,000 and with the help of many sponsors, the outing brought $22,000 this year alone. The golf outing took place on May 17 at Centenial Acres Golf Courses, followed by silent and live auctions. GreenStone’s VP and chief appraiser, Joe Hickey, had the honor of being the emcee for the auction and help raise donations for the ranch.

“During the auction we had a ‘Fund a Need’ callout and asked for donations to purchase shoes for the boys. A lot of the kids that come to the ranch have nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Joe says. “The callout alone raised over $1,800 for the boys.”

The tremendous impact the ranch has on each individual would not be possible without the generosity of dozens of volunteers and company sponsors. SCYR encourages members of the community to take a tour of the ranch and witness first-hand the incredible opportunities the ranch has created for the boys. The Sunny Crest Youth Ranch’s mission aligns with that of GreenStone’s by investing in the youth to help successfully develop tomorrow’s leaders. As a member-owned cooperative, we are grateful to have employees reflect our mission and strive to be involved in the communities we work, live and play in. If you are interested in learning more about the Sunny Crest Youth Ranch or the immense influence they have on the lives of the ranchers, please click here.



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